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Reality Show or organized cheating of innocent people

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The Reality Shows !

The reality show, Sa Re Ga Mał just concluded by the Zee TV,  proved to be a great success. This show was organised to search the "Voice of the World" or the best singer of Hindustani songs.

The show also had a philanthropic angle as Poonam a girl from a very ordinary middle class family at Lucknow, who as repeatedly informed during the episodes, earned a mere Rs.600/- per month from her job at a PCO at Lucknow, was one of the participants. She received lot of sympathy from the anchor, the gurus, and most important of all, the viewers. Raja Hasan from Rajasthan also came from a very humble middle class family. Amanat definitely remained a symbol of goodwill and friendship between India and Pakistan, and was religiosly supported by all those who believe in goodwill and peace. The Royal Cub of Bengal, the voice of the world the winner Aneek Dhar,  represented the sweet melodious voice so typical of Bengal.

It was really very interesting that most of the major TV channels in India gave the show full publicity and news coverage, putting aside all professional rivalry.

Like millions of other middle class people my wife remained glued to the TV during all episodes of Sa Re Ga Ma. Whenever I had a chance of viewing the performance of those energy charged young boys and girls I was charmed by their sweet voices. They all are superb no doubt. I wish them all great success in their career.

The "reality", however really showed when the enormous number of votes received by these participants was revealed! The three mega finalists put together fetched 100,000,000 plus votes! More than 100 million votes Whoops!

Since I did not vote for any, I wondered how much it costs a voter to caste one such vote on phone or SMS. Some said ten rupees per vote others said six rupees per vote some others said no it was just three rupees a SMS. I could not verify the figures for myself and therefore put it at the lowest that is three rupees per vote. Thus the money earned by the telecom corporates put together for the mega final episode was 300 million rupees plus, or around $6 million plus.

Congratulations to all participating corporates and their brilliant managers!!!

And who paid the money? The poor middle class!

Was that ethical?

The job of telecom companies is to provide communication services to the people and to fulfill their perceived needs for communication. It is not fair for them, by any standard, to stoke a fire of frenzy among the children and adolescents to push them to spend money relentlessly and without check. Interestingly one of the methods available for voting was through email but if you chose that method you were allowed to caste one vote only per person/machine, while if you used your mobile for the voting you could caste unlimited number of votes. The reason is so simple. No corporate earns when you shoot an email. While with every SMS the service provider takes out a small chunk of money from the pocket of its customer. Had they genuinely wanted to know the popularity of the participants, they could have limited the voting to one vote from one cell phone it was very easy from technical point of view. But they did not! They encouraged youngsters to go crazy with the frenzy of sending as many SMSs each for their favorite as they could, or in other words to throw three rupee coins in the bag of the corporates as quickly as possible.

And remember the figures I have quoted here are for the mega final episode only. I could not find out the total number of votes for all episodes put together. Was it 200 million votes? Was it 300 million votes? Or was it 1000 million votes? I do not know!

Was that not an organized assault on the pockets of poor people by the moneyed elite? Is our national government, which consists of savants of economics like Mr. Manmohan Singh and Mr. Chidambaram, really alive to the danger of this corporate cheating and terrorism?

After all the reality shows!

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