Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Why Cry Over a Silly Show

So finally Britain's Big Brother show has managed to draw the attention of people from outside Britain. I guess Shilpa being the lone non-brit added to the media attention and the storm that followed. I've seen a reality show where a white guy refused to say sorry to a black guy even when he was at fault. He preferred the fine. It's another matter that the community service he did made him realise his mistakes.

But, didn't Jade too say sorry after the show and that too publicly!

Perhaps that's the Indian way of approaching things. For the North Indians, the image of a guy from South is well established now - a man in lungi eating his food with his fingers, which are all soaked in the food. But that's ok if you are showing it on TV in a lighter mood. You are making fun and everybody is laughing. Recall the Sardar jokes and the way our Indian cinema treats the Sardars. And the Sardars too are taking it all in good spirits. It's all in good humour you could say. But isn't that rascist! Maybe for us Indians even rascism in good spirits is acceptable.

And that wasn't the case with the Big Brother show, so the controversy. But, what we tend to overlook are three things: a) Shilpa was told about the rules of the show well in advance, b) She was paid handsomely in return for taking all that crap, c) She could have left in the middle if she wanted. Agreed that all this doesn't justify Jade's and others' remarks but it was just a TV show with a set format, and things like these are expected.

We need to chill out now. It wasn't a world stage where an Indian was mocked - just a silly reality show.

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