Das ka Dum with Dr Bhaskar Das: Does of popularity of Bigg Boss and Naagin say anything about the people who watch television?

11 Feb,2020

A reader who requested anonymity dared us to ask this question. We don’t agree with the view of the answer-seeker, but then it’s a legitimate question and we do know some people who don’t like watching soaps on Hindi television (but often don’t think the same about the fare on English entertainment). So without any further ado, here’s Das ka Dum with Dr Bhaskar Das. Read on…


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Q. Bigg Boss and Naagin are among the most watched shows on Indian television. Some say these shows are regressive, but the fact is that such shows are popular the world over. Does their popularity say anything about the people who watch television?


A. Popular culture is distinct from niche culture. Neither is a 100% reflective of a homogeneous trend. India, as a country, is a cultural melting pot, where many tastes and preferences peacefully exist as nano market of one. If one sifts every consumption through the prism of a so-called progressive escapism formula (as is true for any media), then one tends to find mythological content as regressive. But when you seamlessly tag uniqueisation of taste with homogenisation of so-called  sophistication in viewing habits (read progressive as per your question), this kind of confusion arises


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