Rivetting, revealing and impactful were the words that were used to describe the show. Last year, when it wrapped up after a 50-60 episode run on September 18, buzz was that Sach Ka Saamna would soon return with a second season on Star Plus. Six months later, the gossip is that the second edition of the Indian adaptation of The Moment Of Truth might never see the light of the day.
Reportedly, last month, the Delhi High Court rejected the channel’s plea for permission to commence shooting for the show that dared contestants to bare the murky secrets of their lives on national TV. When asked, actor Rajeev Khandelwal, the host of the first season, says he is clueless about whether the show will return.
“When the show wrapped up in September, Star Plus, Siddharth Basu and I had discussed the next season. However, there hasn’t been any discussion, official or unofficial, after that in the months since. I have been busy shooting for my films and haven’t heard from Babu (Basu). My friends tell me that something about the show has irked the Information Broadcasting Ministry to the point that they dragged it to court. I’m told the matter has yet to be sorted out,” informs Khandelwal.
Siddharth Basu, the chief of Big Synergy, the production house that puts the show together in India, says that the broadcaster (Star Plus) is keen to have it back, in one language or the other. “I think the channel is just waiting to know the outcome of certain issues that are being sorted out between them and the ministry the court. Till I hear from them, I can’t say whether the show will return or not,” he says.
The channel, despite several attempts, did not respond to our queries on whether Sach Ka Samna would be back.Though everyone associated with the show has their toes and fingers crossed, it won’t be a surprise if this is the end for the desi The Moment Of Truth.
Out of its several versions in the world, The Moment Of Truth has already been banned in two countries, including Columbia and Greece. The National Television and Radio Council in Greece banned it after they felt it was too offensive and encouraged people to humiliate themselves for a reward.
In Columbia, the version was axed in 2007 when a female contestant, Rosa Solano, was asked if she had paid a hit man to murder her husband. She responded with a “yes” but said that someone had tipped the husband and he had run away.
The content on the Indian version was also considered ‘adult’ and the timing was changed from 10.30 pm to 11 pm slot. Khandelwal had said then: “That’s the time when people go to bed. With this show, they may stay up to reflect on their lives. If even 10 per cent do it, my show is a hit.”
Behind the scenes Conceptualisation process
It took a year and several phases for the production house to come up with the show. A few episodes were recorded in November 2008, with well-known personalities, and focus-tested for response. The responses was positive. In 2009, another set of episodes with common people was recorded and focus- tested, again with thumbs up from different social segments in different cities.
The final contestants were researched, interviewed with family and associates, and psychologically evaluated for fitness before the show aired.
Siddharth Basu on whether Sach Ka Saamna was too provocative
We worked hard to make it an emotive encounter with truth, in a way that is thought-provoking, and that forces one to sit up and take notice. By holding up a true and steady mirror to society...to what’s going on in the hearts and minds of ordinary people... it was meant to make you examine the relationship with truth.
To understand yourself better, and re-invigorate core values. I think most viewers recognised that. If there were not enough healthy interest, the show would, in any case, have died a natural death.
There was absolutely nothing that is not reflected, to a far greater extent, in other media and the movies. The language was restrained, and the tone anything but provocative. Those outraged were obviously intolerant towards such an open admission of truth.