Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Are Indian audiences ready for the truth?
There is something addictive about watching ‘The Moment of Truth’, the American TV show where contestants have to tell the truth to win cash.
I must admit to feeling a certain thrill when contestants are exposed as adulterers, cheats and liars as family members and viewers look on.
When the show’s Indian version ‘Sach Ka Saamna’ premiered on television this month, I wondered if the questions would be as personal.
And they were.
A woman was asked if she wanted physical relations with someone other than her husband.
She answered in the negative but the polygraph test proved she was lying.
The episode ruffled feathers even in parliament.
“What will be the position of this woman before her children, her husband and the society?” a Rajya Sabha MP asked in parliament, urging the government to take action against the show.
“Such indecent reality shows and serials which destroy Indian culture should be stopped.”
On Wednesday, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry issued a show cause notice to Star Plus channel, asking it to explain why the show shouldn’t be taken off air.
Initial ratings suggest “Sach Ka Saamna” is already among the most watched programmes on Indian television.
But while some find it amusing to watch people squirm with embarrassment in front of friends and family, there are others who are put off by the concept.
“To each his own, I personally would not want to see this with my family around,” says Stuti Kohli, a student from Delhi University.
“Questions like do you have a child out of wedlock are just too embarrassing.”
Love it or hate it, “Sach Ka Saamna” is definitely being noticed. But will Indian audiences accept it? Will the reality TV show wean audiences off soap operas?