True lies and the creepy laws of the jungle | india | Hindustan Times
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True lies and the creepy laws of the jungle

india Updated: Jul 25, 2009 00:52 IST

This show is really rocking — after rocking audiences (check out the opening TRPs), it even rocked Parliament. Star Plus’s Sach ka Saamna has been blasted for being “against Indian values” by some politicians.

Well, finally we know what our MPs are up to — they’re busy surfing TV channels looking for objectionable material (“somebody uttered the words ‘sex,’ ‘adultery,’ ‘cheating’ on TV? Off with their heads!”) instead of being exercised about slightly more serious issues like drought, like honour killings, like women being molested in broad daylight in a state capital, like the country’s currently inexplicable foreign policy moves (to name just four things).

As far as I know, we elect MPs for the task of nation-building (hope springs eternal), not to become our self-appointed moral guardians. As it is, it’s quite hard to keep track of all the things that are allegedly against our values. At last count, it included alcohol, pubs and bars, PDA (public display of affection), sex with anyone except a legally wedded spouse, homosexuality, girls and boys interacting freely with each other, even blue jeans for God’s sake.

It’s not my case that Sach Ka Saamna is the best show on TV. But if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Simple. It’s what I do all the time when I watch MPs behaving in an unruly, unseemly fashion in Parliament, which they do with monontonous, predictable regularity. But please let’s not hear any blather about Indian values.

The truth is that popular culture — whether it’s films, television, music, or the changing nature of social interaction — is the softest target and best diversionary tactic for politicians who have all the time in the world for everything except the real work they’re supposed to do.

Meanwhile, I watched Vinod Kambli on Sach Ka Saamna, clutching a big cross and sweating hard at some of the questions. TV actress Urvashi Dholakia came with her mother and best friend and admitted to having peed in a swimming pool (now, now, how many people answered that question in the affirmative in their head?)

Meanwhile, Sony’s Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao has been so action-packed, I’m quite out of breath. TV actor Akashdeep Saigal had to perform a task which consisted of him wearing a transparent helmet on his head and having a year’s supply of worms, crickets, snakes, scorpions, beetles and god knows what else poured into it. I watched horrified as various creepy crawlies, er, creepily crawled all over his face.

Well, apparently the rest of the celebrities were equally horrified because they decided to march out and leave the show, all along fighting with the production crew (wish I could tell you what was said, but all I could hear was a series of furious beeps).

Two of the participants however decided to stay back in the jungle – Fiza and Palak. The two women danced and pirouetted and giggled in the jungle, clearly not missing any of the other camp members. Unfort-unately for them, the others soon returned, saying that they had “reso-lved” matters. So was it all a publicity stunt? Was it scripted into the show? Was it a mutiny for more bounty? Or were the celebs genuinely upset over the ‘dangerous’ tasks and the meager food rations? Who knows? Who cares? It was high drama and non-stop action and made for most entertaining viewing.

And finally. The other day, I was watching Star Plus and realised that all the shows that were being aired back to back (Sabki Laadli Bebo, Bidayi, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and a couple of others I can’t even remember) had wedding sequences. Somebody or the other was getting married in each serial. It was almost eerie. (Maybe the channel got some kind of a wholesale deal where all the weddings were shot in the same mandap?)