Media questions Bitto, Shorr’s social intent

May 14th, 2010 - 1:33 pm ICT by Sampurn Wire  

May 14, 2010 (Sampurn Wire):A press conference of a TV show is usually as clichéd as the show itself. Thus these launches turn out to be mundane affairs for actors, producers and the scribes. Q and A session usually takes minutes before the stage is declared open for tête-à-tête.

For a change, a press conference didn’t turn out to be a formality. The media didn’t change its aggressive attitude, but they were more honest in their queries. Surprisingly, it’s struggling Sahara One that managed to get a good interactive session.

Contiloe Films’ Bitto and Jay Mehta Productions Shorr – Goongi Kankoo Ki Bolti Kahani were unveiled by Sahara One on Wednesday.

The producers and channel officials sung praises of the show, hoping that that it would help in bringing about social awareness. Bitto is story of a poor scheduled caste girl trying to save herself from the atrocities of the Thakur, while Shorr speaks of the tribulation of a mute girl Kankoo.

Depicting the plight of rural women is nothing new. Whatever the principle plot may be, in the end, the story simply boils down to the girl’s marriage. A female reporter from Hindi media sighed, “Why is it that our TV protagonist’s destiny ends with marriage? Rural or urban, women today aspire other dreams too. Why can’t you depict that?”

Sahara One programming head Sheetal Ladha responded, “The ground reality n the rural belt is still the same. It’s not much different for an urban girl too. When I was 22, I too had encouraged thoughts of marriage. We can’t shy away from this. All girls have marriage aspirations.”

True it may be, but Bitto’s paints the Thakurs as utterly evil men, who derive pleasure in torturing Dalits. However, not all Thakurs are like this and the situations aren’t as bad as shown on the TV shows, claimed a scribe.

“Caste discrimination is a common practice in our country. I’m a Thakur too, yet I’m making such a show. Despite being a Thakur, I can’t deny the reality,” replied (Thakur) Abhimanyu Singh.

Another reporter chided that small screen’s poor appeared unreal as they stay in big houses and don good dresses.

“Opulence is part of cinema. However, a little dazzle is required for TV too. Without it, you won’t be able to differentiate between real and reel. Let’s not forget, we’re entertainers too,” said Sahara One creative director Musthaq Shiekh.

One scribe asked why can’t the Hindi GEC produce content for the intellectual audience, who are reducing to watching news channels.

“Our core viewership comes from the hinterland. There are plenty of channels and all cater to the masses. Though it will take time, I’m sure we’ll produce content for the intellectual viewers too,” opined Shiekh.

With discrimination being the talk of the hour, one over zealous journalist sighed, “You guys always talk about discrimination in the rural states, but it’s prevalent in your industry too. Each day on your sets, different section of people have their food separately. Besides, different quality of food is served to actor’s vis-à-vis the poor unit workers”

This had everyone in splits. Shiekh, a smart cookie that he is, said that he didn’t know about others but his team and producers always eat together.

The moment, the Q and A session was over, channel officials and the producers dispersed to the lunch table. While the actors had their lunch together, producer Abhimanyu Singh was spotted eating alone. Perhaps, that’s undone Shiekh’s claim. Nevertheless, this was one press conference that was enjoyed by all, irrespective of the fact whether you’re a Thakur or Dalit.

-Mayur Lookhar / Sampurn Wire

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