OPINION

MTV Roadies: The Hellish Indian Mentality Laid Bare

January 25, 2009
Deepti Lamba

The third episode of MTV Roadies: Hell Down Under in Udaipur (no Australia?) made for a sobering viewing. The ugly side of human nature was laid bare.There was slander and assassination of character, physical brutality, cussing, blatant racism and lack of respect of cultural differences. 

Yes, all the typical Indian vices were laid bare, where two people who spent time alone naturally became the target of gossip. A girl's character was assassinated, the girls judged the woman in question and the boys congratulated the man who had the supposed tryst.

We've all seen it play out in our schools and colleges. The woman is called a slut for being 'forward' or 'liberal'. The sexist game at its worst being played out by the supposed globalized generation had me shake my head. India still had its mind in the gutters.

Then came the term- Chinkie! I cringed. Chinkie?! And my mind went back to the recent conversation I accidentally eavesdropped on a few days back when a man had called a North Easterner a hot chinkie. We still have a long way to being politically correct in our thinking, words and actions.

The cat fights continued with a man thrown in like a wish bone to be fought over.

Then there was the snide immature politicking to get a guy beaten up by another hot headed jack ass. 

Weight jokes were made, a woman verbally assaulted an overweight guy and another man passed a sexist remark that she should be let off since she was a girl.

A man made a mockery of a folk dance and finally the hotel was turned into a hoodlum boarding house by the crew of the show and by the team members, who placated the hotel staff when they were asked to leave the premises..

I haven't taken any names here deliberately. These were acts committed by Indians , these were acts we see happen all the time in our society, we read about them, we fight over them and we find ourselves either perpetuating them or being the victims.

The ugly underbelly of India was laid bare in all its festering rottenness and the episode left a sour taste in my mouth.      

Deepti Lamba is a writer, an editor for Desicritics. She can be found at Things That Bang
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#1
anon
January 26, 2009
01:33 PM

Hmmm.. Should be renamed MTV Rowdies. Is this programme a North Indian obsession or what?

#2
kerty
January 26, 2009
02:30 PM

Anon

Its not a north or south Indian obsession. MTV is a yuppy obsession. Alternative lifestyle folks need alternative culture and MTV/bolywood caters to them.

#3
kerty
January 26, 2009
02:36 PM

Anon

Its not a north or south Indian obsession. MTV is a yuppy/x-gen obsession. Alternative lifestyle need alternative culture and MTV/bolywood caters to them.

#4
Rahul Deodhar
URL
January 26, 2009
08:46 PM

I think if you had seen the selection process then you wouldn't be surprised.

The program has now evolved into a program of idiots, by idiots! The producers have selected the gang by abusing them like crazy. Also do see what ex-roadies are doing - they now have shows where they abuse film stars and the likes!

Aside - I like the way North Easterners are getting into programs.

R

#5
Ideasmith
URL
January 27, 2009
08:36 AM

The show really has gone from interesting, challenging and fun to plain sadistic and revolting. I'm starting to think that all of this is staged...the producers did say that they got back to the hotel and heard about the fights between the contestants. How come the cameras were capturing their conversations and moves then? Or is it a hidden camera inside their bedrooms...sheesh, that's just plain creepy.

#6
Ledzius
January 27, 2009
09:10 AM

Will someone get me the scalpel really quick, please?

Seriously, people, even though I have never watched this show, it is plain obvious that this relies on the "shock factor" for popularity, just like WWF or the Jerry Springer Show. It is ridiculous to draw conclusions from it to "Indian mentality", as much as concluding what is "American mentality" from the Springer Show.

These kind of shows are not even worthy of pop psych analysis. If they offend people so much, they can always use the channel buttons of their remotes.

I am more concerned about child beggars and pharma companies dumping medicines into streams in India. The least one needs to be concerned about is the behaviour of yuppie contestants on some contrived show.

#7
Ayan Roy
January 27, 2009
11:42 AM

Well, there is nothing typically Indian about this mentality (I can't say anything about heavenly or hellish though :-))!

In my view, there has been, still is, and there will continue to be a large chunk of people worldwide who love to see AND PARTICIPATE in dog-fights, cat-fights, drama, tears, swearing, slanging matches, scandals, sex - contrived or real (real time is better);
They derive some kind of internal vicarious pleasure and aggressive excitement out of this which gives them a sort of 'high'. Most people belonging to this set of voyeurs lead pretty mundane lives without excitement and constructive activity and use very little of their grey matter in their daily lives, in my opinion.

Hence, shows like WWF/E wrestling, Big Brother (Boss), Jerry Springer, Temptation Island, MTV Roadies and Splitsvilla will continue to be popular and have a large fan base and enthusiastic participation.

As long as people (or animals) are not being badly injured or killed (like in the old Roman Gladiatorial contests), there is no reason why these shows cannot be produced and aired :-)

As for me, I don't really bother if someone decides to insult himself or herself on national television; and I don't really care about the tastes, sensibilities and choices of audiences.

I just don't watch the show :-)

Love and peace to all,
Ayan

#8
Ayan Roy
January 27, 2009
11:43 AM

Well, there is nothing typically Indian about this mentality (I can't say anything about heavenly or hellish though :-))!

In my view, there has been, still is, and there will continue to be a large chunk of people worldwide who love to see AND PARTICIPATE in dog-fights, cat-fights, drama, tears, swearing, slanging matches, scandals, sex - contrived or real (real time is better);
They derive some kind of internal vicarious pleasure and aggressive excitement out of this which gives them a sort of 'high'. Most people belonging to this set of voyeurs lead pretty mundane lives without excitement and constructive activity and use very little of their grey matter in their daily lives, in my opinion.

Hence, shows like WWF/E wrestling, Big Brother (Boss), Jerry Springer, Temptation Island, MTV Roadies and Splitsvilla will continue to be popular and have a large fan base and enthusiastic participation.

As long as people (or animals) are not being badly injured or killed (like in the old Roman Gladiatorial contests), there is no reason why these shows cannot be produced and aired :-)

As for me, I don't really bother if someone decides to insult himself or herself on national television; and I don't really care about the tastes, sensibilities and choices of audiences.

I just don't watch the show :-)

Love and peace to all,
Ayan

#9
contactkunjan
January 28, 2009
01:48 AM

baap re! So many comments already. Good Going!

Well, nice points there. But that is as far as it goes. I am no mood to rebel and the incidents are too petty to escalate!

#10
krishna
February 2, 2009
06:29 AM

as someone said its a programme by idiots for the idiots.all types of cheap ideas and pranks being shown,and those two ganjes there enjoy being cursed by people,nothing cheaper than this

#11
Srikanth
February 3, 2009
06:32 AM

This is a sick program. I think the author forget to mention another idiotic, humiliating episode in that show.

All boys are tied. Every time the girls in their team give wrong answer to the question asked by the presenter, boys in that team get a HIT with the iron rod between their legs.

If girls give correct answer, they can choose the boy in other team to get the treatment i mentioned above.

I don't know why people are not opposing it. This is just equal to raping a man. Seems everybody more interested on girls, women and their sensitivity and etc. No one cares about men. If the same thing happen to women, MTV will be banned permanently in India.

#12
Ledzius
February 3, 2009
06:55 AM

Srikanth, this is the kind of "liberal Western values" which are being promoted in India. Between the SRS goons and this, I don't know which is worse for our future.

It is unfortunate that these kinds of programs even find an audience among the mature crowd. (For the record, I have never watched a single episode of this show, neither do I intend to.)

#13
Aaman
URL
February 3, 2009
06:56 AM

There's another review on this episode up on Desicritics

#14
Ledzius
February 3, 2009
07:08 AM

Ok, I just watched the youtube link on the other thread to just see what it is all about.

Forget the sexist debate, it was obscene and should be banned on obscenity charges.

Where are the PIL litigators when one really needs them?

This show deserves to be banned and MTV deserves a hefty fine for showing this kind of crap. I don't think they could get away with something like this even in the US.

#15
Aaman
URL
February 3, 2009
08:07 AM

Now published for your edification: a review of the latest episode of MTV Roadies

#16
Prakash
February 4, 2009
07:02 AM

This is blind copying of programs from West, without localising it! When we jump on to follow it, we look like stupid fools.

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