Yesterday I was scouring Internet and stumbled upon something, which read “Paul Merton in India“. The title caught my attention and I dove right into it. Well it is about a British Comedian, Paul Merton, and his travel to different cities in India. I watched a few episodes of this series on the Channel 5 website. I was certainly not happy of what I have seen.
Why was I unhappy? Here’s why.
The show lands in Delhi and visits Eunuch extortionists, there ends the matter with Delhi, moves on to Rajasthan to show us a temple filled with rodents, meet sadhu’s who worship Lord Shiva and hang heavy stones off their genitals. The show then moves to south, hits Hyderabad to show a 20-minute coverage of Friends of Snake society, where they catch snakes in neighbourhood.
Travels further southwest goes to Bangalore and guess what the show cover? Visits a jail and shows the details of
caterer supplying food for a jail. Shows the condition of the jail, cramped people taking some strange dance classes. Get’s on a train and sets off for Chennai, meets an artist on train who paints with a brush in his mouth.
Episodes next week will cover the show will visit to Chennai and Mumbai and from what preview shows me, they will be on beach filming people fight, meeting Mumbai railway children who spent their life on platform and a record holder father who gets his genitals kicked by his son.
If this fair is supposed to seem funny, then well it at least did not seem funny to me. What leaves me baffled is purpose of this program? What is it trying to explain to people of Britain? Is it educating them about conditions in India? I disagree; it shows things that give an impression that the land of the country is full of street performers, snake charmers and other lot.
While it mentions cities as IT Capitals, Tourism spots, what follows the description is some content, which will leave a the same image of the country. Any person, who is shown such content, will carry a wrong impression of the country.
I am not denying that what has been shown happens in India, it does. However, I would have been glad for people to see all this along with the magical sculpture works of Belur and Hallebeedu of Bangalore, mind blowing palaces of Rajasthan, all those festivities, culture and lives of people, which depict other side of India. I feel showing only one side of the coin, is not right. People who have visited India might spot the difference, the rest might have a permanent impression and truly tag it “Incredible India”.
I hope Channel 5 comes up with something else, which will show India in true colours, rather than this portrait painted only in grey!
Do watch an episode or two on this Channel 5 and let me know what you think. For me my instantaneous reaction was, “There is more to India”.