Putting rights issues through the looking glass. Not seeking answers, just some food for thought to see whether things could be any different!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Deeply Shallow World

I could not resist myself after something that I saw on television the other day and I have no better outlet to vent my extreme emotions on this other than lookinglass!

Recently, the Baap of all Sting operations was executed in shahi style by MID-DAY, the greatest Indian tabloid!

What is the sting operation about, you might wonder? It was a sting operation to expose the oh so! underexposed world of Page3. The idea was to explore the so called shallow Page 3 world; to understand how easy it is to enter the Page 3 circuit if you have moneyyyyyyyyyyy!

So, one needed nothing less than a grand sting operation to bring this out into the open.

Anyway, so Mid Day decides to do this noble deed of exposing the truth behind Page 3 (as if, Page 3 the movie was not enough already!)

They catch hold of this pretty young law student, Raini Zaveri from Mumbai and put her on the job. They make a false resume' for her i.e that she comes from a very well to do family and has been educated in the US and paint a pretty picture of affluence around her.

They buy her expensive clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories to prepare her for the ultimate tough job in the world...PARTYING!! Raini starts getting invited to all the big parties in Mumbai courtesy Mid day and boy, does she make her presence felt there by dancing around and holding a glass of drink and flashing her pearly whites for the photogs! Ain't that challenging? Imagine, getting paid for partying! Well... friends, life's a bitch!!

Then, a month later, after full time partying, Raini's story of courage and endurance appears on every news channel on television (dunno, abt the newspapers...I read them on the web too!) . Star News, the worst of them all, actually features a whole one hour episode on the same!

Raini Zaveri shared her journey of growth with the audience in which she revealed that she realised that its not easy to be a Page 3 person and her experiences were very different from what the popular perception of Page 3 is!

Who is a Page 3 person, anyway? Not one person I see on Page 3 is useless, so to speak. They are all successful people with careers, having a good time (may be, sometimes having too much of a good time!) Most of them belong to the glamour world or are associated with it in some way! But haven't we always been fascinated by the lives of the rich and the famous!....So whats new??

What Madhur Bhandarkar showed in Page 3- the movie was the dark side of these peoples' lives but that is not because they party or are on Page 3?

All these people work through the day and party through the night! Simple, understood! Why have a sting operation to expose that it is easy to enter the Page 3 circuit if you are rich!
And the whole irony of the situation is that you make a celebrity out of a person who assists this whole process by giving her too much credit for a job well done and a lot of media space! A celebrity is made of a person who was appointed to break the myth of celebrityhood/dom (don't know the right word here). Now, I am quite sure that Raini will appear on Page 3 even more regularly than before!

In this context, I also need to bring up the whole wardrobe malfunction incident at the recently concluded Fashion Week in Mumbai. Frankly, it could happen to anyone. Your zipper could be down or your flowing skirt could fly away in Marilyn Monroe style or your dress could unhook in the middle of the road! These are occupational hazards in the fashion world and way too much attention is being paid to it. Yes, it is also true that it happened twice and better caution is required. But it does not help the model or the designer, if this incident is flashed across all news channels in the country for days together. In fact, I also read that this issue was raised by Shiv Sena MPs in the State Assembly and the Home Minister of Maharashtra ordered the Mumbai police to investigate whether this was intentional or an accident. And the Mumbai police sprang into action...Within 24 hours, they completed inquiry and submitted a report validating that the hook of the model's outfit did not really hook properly and thus, this was indeed an accident.

Indeed, we need to cut down on news channels and we should have them only on certain hours in a day. That'll help retain the dignity of NEWS and this arbitrary manufacture of news and news makers will hopefully end.