Pop culture is manufactured by the SMS. Seized of this invaluable fact television has been giving it a flogging on the reality and talent shows. Winners, runners – up, finalists – everyone laments the way things turn out for them. Everyone, except for TV companies and their mobile partners who have the whole country flexing their thumbs, sending SMS votes, and getting to play jury and executioner.
You can call it democratic or the rule of the mobile. When the nation’s most famous vocalist Lata Mangeshkar questions the validity of these singers, you know something is wrong. “I wonder why they invite judges if their decisions are going to be overruled by a mass SMS campaign engineered by vested interests,”
The singer recently said in an unexpected strong censure. The millions of text messages are not counted before anyone, not even before the contestants in the fray. Despite being trumpeted as talent shows, these tamashas are more about packaging and less about the singer’s pipes. Once the finalists are chosen, the channel flashes the region from where the contestants are from in order to create vote banks.
Thus one really wonders are these fealty shows for a platform for new talents to showcase their worth and carve a niche for themselves in the entertainment world or are these shows just another way for the TV company and its mobile partner to emotionally blackmail the 100 million population of the country to shell out their votes in turn their hard earned money to see their favorite win.