Are Indian audiences ready for the truth?

July 24, 2009

There is something addictive about watching ‘The Moment of Truth’, the American TV show where contestants have to tell the truth to win cash.

Contestants go through a polygraph test to determine if they are lying while answering a set of questions based on their lives.

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?


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Though I personally feel that the original show is much better, and makes for better viewing, I also think that somewhere Indian audiences are not mature enough to handle such a show where dirty linen is washed in public, with the public really enjoying it!

More than anything else, the biggest reason for this hypocritical dislike towards the show is the fact that, even though we might derive voyeuristic pleasure by watching something like this, it offends people’s so called value system.

I mean how often do you come across someone who is asked a personal question about whether they want to cheat on their partner, in front of a million people watching? And I doubt if anyone would want to answer that in the positive, even if they had already done that several times.

It does seem like a good way of facing your fears, in terms of hiding the most important facts from your family for a long time, and then telling them the same thing with a million people watching. And who wouldn’t like some extra money just for being honest!

We all go to extra lengths to hide our true feelings in order to save a relationship, but maybe this is a way to confront all those around you with the truth. It’s time for us to be honest for once, and less hypocritical.

Posted by Tanushree | Report as abusive

indians must face the truth. as indian culture is being westernised the things will come to us in future. we must be ready for these kind of questions.
the anchor’s language and style is soft and i think there is no vulgarity in his accent. the people who are opposing this kind of show, they are advised to not to participate or not to see the show.

Posted by tarsem deogan | Report as abusive

This show is realy nice show. i like to see this show.specialy those question where the candidate not able to give ans.about the indian people they are not ready to accept realily.hence some people not like this show because they dont want heard truth.

i like this show very much.
if possible call rakhi sawant on this show and ask her this type of questions i am sure she will be not accept your invitation for this type of show.

Posted by sandesh shirsat | Report as abusive

hi sandy here………..
that serial should be dropped in a dust bin.
we ashamed to watch that serial with our family……
ek word mai bolo to….jisne ye serial banaya hai use jail mai dal do………band karo jalde………….

Posted by sandeep | Report as abusive

i don,t no why some people don,t like truth, when we used to talk about culture,family value etc. we should not fill embrassed to talk truth. why they are so worried, becouse they did some thing wroung. when it is coming through this programme they are talking about family value and culture.politicians are corrupted , they don,t like their truth coming before the public , that,s why they want to ban this mega project by star plus.

Posted by amit periwal | Report as abusive

i try to play this game. I beleave in truth.

Posted by Daya Shankar | Report as abusive

But then everyone appearing at this show is already aware of whats coming there way. Sometime it seems this is one more that money earning Reality Show gimmick where every aspect of show, even awe expressions of contestant in the Hot Seat as well as their relatives are stage managed.

I think it gives people that kick because although they are not participating but they put themselves in that situation asking that question to themselves. So no harm…in someways becoming wise of ourselves. So I would say that a nice way to contain our otherwise Hypocrite society, where while the most gruesome expressions pass without raising an eyebrow but such things come under the scanner. After all, relationships are not so superficial .. they are deep embedded to be affected by such disclosures

Posted by Vivek | Report as abusive

You like it or don’t, truth is always a truth. But telling the truth infront of people who are directly affected with the truth may not be the right thing to do especailly when you do it just to win few bucks.

That never means that thuth should not be told. What has created lot of debate is that if you have a dirty side of your life or internal feelings should it be told to the embarrasment of one and all. The major objection is raised on the type of question that are asked like “if you can hide it from your wife would you sleep with any female”.

Therefore question here is not whether Indian viewers are ready to face the truth, but whether Indian audience is ready to face the personal side of question that is asked? It does not matter to TV views whether the person on Hot Seat is ready to cheat his wife but what irks sentiment that what the type of filth that are being served in the name of truth.

Posted by Alok Ranjan | Report as abusive

The show is a change from the reality shows on tv right now and is quite entertaining to say the least…the partcipants are adults who’re on the show of their own free will and they’re fully aware of the kind of questions that they’re likely to be asked, so if they dont have a problem baring their life in public, i dont have a problem watching it on tv.
Most of the people whom i know and who’ve seen the show look at it as another addition to their daily dose of entertainment, nothing more.Whether we as a society find entertainment in watching others squirm and answer questions about their personal life, is an entirely debatable topic that need not be discussed here.What can be discussed is whether the respected member’s of parliament have enough time on hand to discuss tv shows rather than run the country.Incidentally, this is the second time in as many weeks that our MP’s are discussing the content of a tv show, the other being ‘Ballika Vadhu’being shown on a rival channel.
However, a conspiracy theory that comes to mind…are the channels doing something to have these shows discussed in parliament so that TRP’s shoot through the roof??hmmmmm…food for thought

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

“Such indecent reality shows and serials which destroy Indian culture should be stopped.”


what culture are we worried about …?
culture of mp’s having sex with students in university ?
culture of innocent public being robbed blind by politicians?
culture of child labour ?
culture of women beating naked in public?
culture of politician having their daughter murdered for marrying a poor man?

and people appearing on the show have choice to come on the show ,they are not forced.
what harm will it do if they admit to adultery, when they have no problem ACTUALLY doing the act.

Posted by Human | Report as abusive

ye show bhut he jada achha hai

Posted by Abhishek srivastava | Report as abusive

ye show bhut he jada achha hai is show se har insaan ko sach bolne par majbur hona padhta hai aur ye bhut hi achhe baat hai is show me me bhi aana chahta hu plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz mujhe bulay….

Posted by Abhishek srivastava | Report as abusive

This is so stupid. If are offended or donot like what you see,don’t watch it! Nobody is forcing you to watch it.

I hate it when people try to justify banning it by saying it offends our culture, values blah blah. What is our culture? How can you define it? When will we guys mature? Indians seem to be stuck in a time wrap.Its 2009 for God’s sake, wake up & realize we are living in a very globalized and connected world. People are exposed to a lot of things and sh!t will happen.

Posted by Madhav | Report as abusive

With the issue being so sensitized in the Indian media this blog entry comes across as a refreshing read. I think all the debates are nothing but a way to create more hype. Nobody blindfolds the contestants. They are fully aware of what awaits them and all those who think it offends their sensibilities please pick up the remote and SWITCH channels. stop creating idiotic debates in the media about inconsequential matters.

Posted by Shubhi | Report as abusive

There is no problem in showing the truth but the way this program presents the truth is not convincing. There can be other ways to present the truth and the format of the program can be changed. Some questions in the program is highly personal and should not be revealed which harms the honour of woman. There was a program on Zee tv called Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai was also like like this one and was a very popular show which brings tears to viewers eyes. I think this program Sach ka Saamna is only based for the sole purpose of entertainment and publicity. Some people say that they are grown up and they know what is good for them, let them know that many people here in india have got a very dangerous disease called America in which people forgets about our culture and its honour and adapt the complete western culture for the cost of their own culture.I know western culture is not bad but its not better than our culture.

Posted by Umar | Report as abusive

this show should continue and they must get as many politicians as possible on this show.
anybody contesting for a position of authority must be called to face this game.
let public know what u r really made up of.

Posted by manoj | Report as abusive

It matters a lot when young groups watch this telecast as they can even know the true behavior of the personalities they praised during their childhood.Nobody is perfect in this world,but this show can surely bring a double check to our own mistakes.

Posted by shobin | Report as abusive

kind attention please,
sitting the hot seat only female below 25 years

Posted by M.K.BHARDWAJ | Report as abusive

ye show bhut he jada achha hai is show se har insaan ko sach bolne par majbur hona padhta hai aur ye bhut hi achhe baat hai is show me me bhi aana chahta hu kyonki kai aisi baate hai jo mere andar hai jise maine apne logo se chhupaya hai wo baate main duniya ke samne bolna chhahta hu so plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz mujhe bulay….mujhe ek mouka jarur de.

Posted by SHEKHAR KUMAR | Report as abusive

No one is forcing you to watch the show if you don’t want to, so your family can switch over to another channel if they are offended. But India, like all societies, has a myriad of social problems that matter much more than a show that seems to be getting popular. It’s the same with films. If you don’t like films with sex, violence, bad language or depressing endings, you don’t need to watch them. But censoring the above is an insult to India’s, and the world’s, intelligence.

Posted by Seething Lane | Report as abusive

Of course it should be!!!!!! Give me one damn reason why it shouldn’t be….. Our own values teach us to tell and face the truth.
In addition, if the person telling the truth has no problem then i see no reason for anyone else to have any…
Th fact of the matter is that we shall stop being hypocrites!!!!
If anyone has a genuine problem then pleez either turn off ur idiot box or switch to some saas bahu soap….
This is your Moment of Truth!!!

Posted by Sameer Agarwal | Report as abusive

I dont know what the fuss is all about.It is a free democratic country.If you don’t like to watch change the channel.Even the participants come by their own choice and are aware of what they are getting into.Even then they have the choice to quit the show at any time.
People who say this is not part of our culture need to realize that this is our real culture, politicians should stop their moral policing.

Posted by AD | Report as abusive

I would love to see these politicians facing the truth :).I guess thats what they fear the most.Maybe the producers of the show should send out an invitation to them.

Posted by AD | Report as abusive

Great show.. the show must go on..

Posted by sahil | Report as abusive

such a tv serial should not be allowed for public through electrinic mass media, one case of lies can ruine the many lives of family.
what we want ultimately through this type of serials.
govt. should ommediately stop such serials as it has no social values imparting to the viewers. one society is very much sensitive to such issues and can bring about massacare in the society.
please take action to stop.

Posted by P.K.GHOSH | Report as abusive

This is entertainment… people who come for this quiz are prepared for the truth. Why should anyone put a ban on it? If you don’t like watching it, you may not. Let the people who enjoy watching it watch it :)

Posted by Balaji | Report as abusive

The people who participate are adults and know what the game is about and the possible risks and problems that may arise due to their confessions. If they are not worried about their future, why are others in India especially politicians, MPs in Rajya Sabha worried. All the politicians who indulge in such discussions are a bunch of jokers who only know to talk on all rubbish issues in parliament. They must concentrate and discuss issues of national interest and stop this moral policing. No one has given them this right. I suggest they should be invited to this programme and i’ll be interested to see if they get re-elected again. :-)

Posted by Rajesh Altekar | Report as abusive

Such ka Samna is Great show.. the show must go on..

Posted by rajiv doshi | Report as abusive

Then we must allow pornographic videos to go on air. I’m sure it will be a big hit. Those who have a problem can put their TV sets off. Right? You cannot justify negativities of one programme by showing negativities in another. Where is the first letter that asked for a nude picture on the pages of tabloids? No one has eve asked for a food which has never been cooked before. Media is constructing a reality and manufacturing a wants. We have to draw a line between our needs and wants.

Posted by Rahul | Report as abusive

For me its as simple as this, the person coming on the show is not dumb and is completely aware of the show’s format specially in terms of the kind of questions that are asked….evrybody has dark secrets deep inside them and if they are okay to bring them out in front of their family n friend in return of cash then ‘sach ka samna’ is the place for you..!!

Posted by manveen | Report as abusive

There’s no doubt its a very popular show and the people who appear on the show are prepared beforehand so they know how it works. If they are brave enough to admit their mistakes on national TV,then I don’t think anyone can say anything to them or ask the channel to pull it off air. And whether the viewers like it or not,they are still going to watch it because they’re interested in watching the contestants air their dirty laundry in public. So its high time our MPs stopped being such hypocrites.

Posted by Saanya | Report as abusive

Like you said, it will be a big hit. Who are you to censure what people watch, to be the judge of people’s wants and needs, and what exactly do you find offensive about pornography?

Pornography is commonly scheduled at certain hours in the same way as the TV show is shown late at night. So yes, people can just switch off their sets especially given there are things called TV schedules, which a lot of people check, so they can know when to tune out.

Same way porn mags are commonly kept on a top shelf, or in special stores. So please keep your outrage to yourself. And if you believe so passionately in the threat of moral collapse if this show is being aired, why not channel your anger into stopping forced prostitution, child prostitution, AIDS, things that actually matter.

But if you can’t vent any other way, I guess we’ll see you down in Mangalore attacking some women in jeans. Have fun.

Posted by Seething Lane | Report as abusive

Dear Sir,
What’s wrong in some body trying to become a Sathya Harischandra aka moneylust.Question is not the persons integrity. But how good is the poygraphy / brain map?

Integrity of these mechines / readers is to be brain maped.

Posted by Prasad | Report as abusive

What is the fuss if people are asked to speak out the truth in front of the society. You need to have guts to do that and people who are not sure of their integrity may not like the concept of being honest in front of the world.
I think the concept is wonderful and its time we need to learn to accept the truth.

Posted by Atonu | Report as abusive

Dear Sir,

My self Deepak Grover. I am intrested for play the show sach ka samna.plz give me one chance ASAP.


Deepak Grover

Posted by DEEPAK GROVER | Report as abusive

I think program is good but the level of question is not good whatever a person did in his life that need not to share in public which really very personal, one of my friend wrote that if you not like this program change channel, I want to ask this the solve, this is like you closing your eyes from happening bad. I wanted to know one thing what you will learn from one’s secrete sex life you will just enjoy by listening those hot story nothing all. Audience want many thing to watch but that dose not mean there is no need of censor board. If you are in small age then you will like but if you think from guardian point of view you will not allow to watch this program to your son or daughter

Posted by santosh kumar | Report as abusive

I’m quite ready to let out deliciously dirty, nasty secrets that would put away my great uncle behind bars for at least a couple of years.

I’m also ready to see others make complete fools of themselves on national TV while their families sit on the sets faking tears. From the time a participant gets the first call from the organisers inviting him to the show, to the time he actually starts letting out embarrassing details about his sex life or the lack of it, I am sure the members of his family know and discuss exactly what they are in for.

I mean did you really think he’d be asked “Did you ever lie about your favorite brand of corn flakes to your mum as a child?” So where does the question of “hurting his loved ones” come from?

So it all boils down to some simply great TV. But like always, we are Indians and we never speak of sex publicly. In fact our moral police and censor boards would have us believe we reproduce through asexual binary fission.

I do not want to hog more electronic space by repeating what many before me have said – god has given you a wonderous device called the remote control. Please use it wisely.

And when you step gingerly down from your moral high horse, you’d be stunned to find that the Indian culture is more resilient than you thought. And half an hour of extreme drama would not drastically change our otherwise mind-numbingly dull lives.

Posted by on the run | Report as abusive

As far as if it is done by the consent of that participant..i dont feel it is bad..they are not asking you to come there n speak truth…if u r going there than you can’t question..even on the level of the cant say anything once you have taken the sach ka samna according to me ..its rocking its a nice upto the people’s perception they are taking it

Posted by Ruchita | Report as abusive

i am speak always true .pleez invait me

Posted by manoj saini | Report as abusive

sir main apni famli say asi kafi saari baty nahi boli jo muge kafi phaly bol deni thi .ab main sirf such ka saamna karna chata ho .thanking contact no is 09911255175


Posted by manoj saini | Report as abusive

It’s all about money honey!!!! It is very simple to understand the “real” show. The producer wants to earn millions by making this show more controversial, more attractive and more popular. The participants know what they are going to face; an informed consent must be part of the participation procedure, so please do not blame the producers and the organizers. The participants are dying to go there to earn money and to be popular even at the cost of any worst embarrassment or problems they may face in their actual life-due to possible revelations they may make in the show. And last but not the least, for audience- it is a fresh entertainment, so be it. Those who are concerned about the after effects of this show on the “Indian culture”, are either naïve or hypocrite. They may be the first who may be eagerly waiting for such an entertaining show. Everyone has choice to watch this program or not.

Posted by Pawan Khatawane | Report as abusive

it is good

Posted by Tapas P. Behera | Report as abusive

it is really risk playing this game ,but for handsome of money how do people play it?and the producer is mahan the great really he will make money by breaking people house n off course if u so this kind of show definitely people will come to be popular n to earn some money

Posted by pushpa | Report as abusive

When I first saw ‘The Moment of Truth’ I never thought such a show could work in India. It was way too bold and honest for the Indian audiences. Plus, I never thought anyone would volunteer to participate because this was one country where hypocricy is priceless or so I thought and I’m glad I’m wrong. All the rave about this show is not out of place, it’s reality TV at its best, and if the scribes have such problems with this show, I can’t help but wonder what kind of skeletons they are hiding in their closets. I mean if honesty can get me rich today, then I better start living a clean life.

Posted by Bini Philips | Report as abusive

kaun kahta h ki yeh show sirf pese k lye khela jata h . agar aisa h to kyu ab tak ek b participant 25 lakh tak b nai pauch serial se hume y pata chalta h k aj k zamane b ek b bapu nai h jo sach bol sake…..sabne apne jiwan m bhut raj chipha rakhe h jise sab batane m sharm mehsus karte h . sach ka samna hume y batata h ki aj koi b sacha r saaf nai h phir chahe vo teacher ho leader ho pir ya koi celebrity..A great idea of star plus for bringing sach a daring serial…….. h koi jo jeet kar dikhaye 1 crore………

Posted by ram yadav | Report as abusive

Ram yadav ji itna hi hai to tum jake dikha do jeet ke dikha do 50 lakh…………. bolna bahut assan hota hai or karna bahut muskil…..

Posted by Yogesh | Report as abusive

In my opinion there should be an audience poll in which the audience decide wether they want this show off air or not. If majority of the viewers want to see this thats fine. Let them decide.

Posted by Linedbasit | Report as abusive

Sach ka samna – A show that is in a pronounced way breaking the confines of indian television! The question is not are the Indian audiences ready? the question is rathar – why shouldnt the indian audiences be ready? Enough of hippocracy in the Indian society… tell me something – Why cant a woman fantacise sleeping with someone else (may be Hrithik Roshan) out of her wedlock! She is only fantacising! what if she sleeps? How many men dont? The indian audiences have to graduate… Sach ka samna is a step towards the actual liberalisation of the society… I am a fan!

Posted by Neeha Saxenaa | Report as abusive

Personally I feel that there was no need for us to copy another American show. Now that we have our very own version of ‘The Moment of Truth’, we must try and understand the concept of the show. I would not deny the fact that the questions asked hold more importance here than in America, given our culture, but I would not support the claim that its destroying our culture. Everyone has secrets! If you want them to be secrets, don’t participate. No one will force you to do so! The questions and answers affect your family relations, agreed! If you don’t want that to happen, don’t put your relationships on stake to go and make money! The contestants make a choice, why blame the show for it? After all they’re simply businessmen. I am not in support of the show either but we must not raise issues just for the sake of raising them.

Posted by RS | Report as abusive

I am a fan of not the show but of the concept n theme. the greatest aspect of the theme is to pose the inside out. its not ‘sach ka saamna’ rather facing oneself. and when one has to face oneself ‘nothing could be more scary”..cheers!! to the show as well…

Posted by Deepak Singhal | Report as abusive