Friday, March 18, 2005

Casting Couch

Frankly,I had not heard of this expression till very recently.But then,now it is the talk of the town.Bollywood baddie Shakthi Kapoor and Indian Idol compere Aman Varma(Sharm a ?) seeking sexual favours from film aspirants.Separate sting operations using spy cameras done by India TV channel catching our heroes with their pants down.What I can't understand is that while Shakthi got no support from the film fraternity,Aman got a lot of "hum hai na",from his filmy buddies.Salman Khan,Arbaaz,Sanju,Govinda et al.
Whatever that may mean,the key question that arises out of all this is whether such exposes should be permitted or should they be banned?.The media has no business to peep into their private lives say the film stars and ask why industrialists and politicians have not been targetted.In the same breath one of them said it was a frame-up.
While I was doing some research on this subject,I read about similar happenings in Hollywood where quite a few top film actors and actresses were targetted and exposed.I think the peeping tom saga will get debated for quite some time in the newspapers and television channels.Nothing much is likely to emerge from all these debates and discussions.One thing is certain.Our film stars will be now very very careful lest they fall into the wide net thrown by the sting operation team of India TV-Ilyasi and aka ruchi.


rums said...

casting couches are everywhere. there are journalists who sleep around to get stories. you remember the shivani bhatnagar case? she was murdered apparently because she was threatened to expose the politician she was sleeping with. while the politician got away scot free the IAS officer she also had an affair with is rotting in jail.

gs said...

true.they are there i seek your views on three vital questions.
1) if there is mutual consent,what is the problem.why should the media bother?what are they trying to achieve?
2)are sting operations justifiable?
e.g. in the tehelka case,investigative journalism was at its peak when the tehelka team caught a whole lot of bjp netas accepting is said that because it was congress inspired, tehelka went only for the bjp guys.whereas the story is no different in the opposite fence.
and 3)is a regulatory body required?

rums said...

1.. you are right, when there is mutual consent then there should be no issues at all. it is entirely upto an individual how he or she wants to get ahead in life. and i think in this particular case, the TV channel must have done the sting just to gain some eyeballs (have you ever watched India TV? i haven't).
2.. i think that is a very open question. in this case, when you are invading someone's privacy and stating the obvious, the objective is clearly cheap publicity and such a sting doesn't make sense. but the tehelka sting was justifiable, even though that particular sting too helped tehelka, which was an obscure website read only by journalists and bleeding heart activists, become a hosehold name. at the end of the day, defence deals involve tax payers' money and the tax payers (the citizens of this country) have a right to know if that money is being spent judiciously. and tehelka could only go for the NDA ministers as that was the group in power.
however, you are right again about all political parties sailing on the same boat as far as corruption goes. as far as i am concerned, the cong is the worst political party in india today. it's the cong's policies that have done india in. they were the first ones to induct criminals into the party in bihar to win elections and today this has become a common practice everywhere. and that, is just one of the evil practices. in a way i'm glad that we have an alternative today in the NDA (even though it's like choosing between the devil and the deep sea!).
3.. yes, there has been a long standing demand for an independent regulatory authority for the TV biz, but unfortunately, our leadership as well as our bureaucracy is not well equipped to deal with the complexities of convergence. whenever there is a talk about a regulator turf wars begin between the telecom and information & broadcasting ministries. until and unless concrete steps are taken to bury differences and evolve a super regulatory body i guess these issues will keep cropping up.

gs said...

many thanks for your comments which has really helped in bringing about clarity in my mind on this issue.
we should then conclude that sting operations are justifiable if it is for the common good.if in the process the stinging agency gets more eyeballs,let that be their reward.and let us not grudge it.but certainly they have no business to enter into the private domains of wellknown personalities,just to get cheap publicity.
also that a regulatory mechanism like an ombudsman which will have a check on what is shown on the tv screen must be put in place asap.
i have seen india tv news several times.nothing much to write about.i prefer ndtv and cnbc to all other channels for political and business news.

Anonymous said...