Anil Thakraney: Sur Kshetra of commerce & politics

03 Sep,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Raj Thackeray’s party has announced that they will disrupt the shooting of the new musical reality show called Sur Kshetra. And the VIP juror, Ms Asha Bhosle, has sweetly turned down their demand to exit from the show. All this tamasha because some Pakistani performers will do their number on the said reality show. At the time of writing this piece over the weekend, there’s a stalemate.


So then what must the channel, Colors, do? Well, they can’t alter their programming at this stage, that’s for sure. Not just because costly contracts have already been signed, am quite certain a whole lot of the shooting is already completed. Also, and the channel CEO won’t admit to this for obvious reasons, secretly they might be thrilled with Raj’s diktat. Solid, free publicity is always welcome. Especially for a super expensive entertainment TV show.


Anyway, this is not the first time an agitation has been threatened against TV shows that feature Pakistani artists. And it’s not going to be the last time either. The view that the channels always take, that these shows promote peace and harmony amongst the two nations, is bunkum. If music and sports could have solved the Kashmir dispute, then it would have happened a long time ago. The only reason the Pak artists get invited here, is because they sell. We may not love our neighbour very much, but we are quite curious about them, and are keen to see more of them. So there’s only commerce behind the idea of inviting the ‘enemy’.


Now, let’s assume for a second that this situation is worrisome for the channel chiefs, that they don’t really want this recurring headache. In which case, what’s the way forward? Because this issue will keep cropping up again and again. In my view, the answer is very simple: They must threaten to shift their shoot locations out of Maharashtra. Perhaps a threat of that sort would panic the ruling state government into some kind of action.


And where might they choose to go? Very simple! Motabhai Narendra Modi, India’s only business-savvy CM, is waiting with open arms. He loves taking in businesses booted out by politicians in other states. Ask Mamata Didi.




PS: This one is especially for all the underpaid, overworked, harried young account executives in advertising agencies. Who are made to do all those thankless, ridiculous chores. Including putting the boss’s glitzy presentation together. 🙂


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