By Zahra Motorwala.
Marriage is believed to be a sacred institution. In India, a multicultural country, every religion has faith in the institution of marriage. We are believed to be a very traditional country and thus the ultimate aim of every Indian is to probably get married. Though we all are very different in our culture, thoughts, beliefs and religious ideologies the one thing we all collectively believe in is marriage. And another correlating belief to marriage is that marriages, however good, bad or troublesome are all made in heaven. This was further incorporated in our minds and cultures through the power of cinema, when Yash Chopra came up with Dil Toh Paagal Hai, and the famous dialogue, “kahi na kahi, koi na koi humare liye banaya gaya hai”. This is true Indian mentality.
And this is the funda television channels are using to get their desired TRPs nowadays. They have started to use the sacred institution of marriage as a means to attract viewers. This has been happening time and again. Even In cinema marriages are the ultimate festival which is a point of attraction for all viewers and audiences. Marriage sequences are elaborately shot and shown with lots of dance and drama. Another thing Yash Chopra and Karan Johar have made synonymous with their romantic films we have grown up watching like Kal ho na ho, Hum Saath Saath Hain, Hum Aapke hain kaun, Vivaah, Kuch kuch hota hai, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and the likes.
But the newest trend is, getting married on television. It started with the reality show on imagine tv named ‘Rakhi ka Swayamvar’ where a Swayamvar was organized for the very famous drama queen Rakhi Sawant. People wondered who would want to marry her and that too on Indian television making your private life completely public. But ofcourse, this is the age of television and people can do anything to be on television, thus there were many contestants wanting to marry Rakhi. It all looked like a completely scripted show where everyone knew what they had to do.
That show did well I believe, as the makers came up with a 2nd season with the ‘famous for the wrong reason’ , Rahul Mahajan. Just out of the reality show big boss he grabbed the first opportunity to be on television again. And again we saw a Swayamvar on national television for Rahul Mahajan who along with being divorced also had many other bad habits to his credit. But it’s the power of television that again saw so many girls dying to marry a spoilt brat who their parents would never really want their daughters to even be around if not for the inclusion of television.
The 2nd season went a step further than the first, which only showed Rakhi engaged to the winner of the show. On the 2nd season Rahul Mahajan was shown marring the winner of the show Dimpy, now his lawful wife. Both the seasons must have done pretty well cause the channels is now launching the 3rd season with tv. Actress Ratan Rajput searching for her dream man on television or so the promo’s say.
Recently, television actors Sara khan and Ali merchant got married on the reality show big boss season 4. This was a merry-making event on television and specially in the reality show big boss. Something that never happened before. And just as soon as the show ended we heard that the couple was filing for divorce. A new show is being launched on imagine TV, on which the Swayamvars were also aired. This show is named ‘Shaadi 3 crore ki’. This is again a reality show based on shaadi the most popular thing in our country. The winners, which would be immediate family members of someone who is supposed to get married, would get 3 crores to have a grand Shaadi.
Television has time and again used marriage as and when convenient to get their TRPs and viewers attention. And the Indian audiences fall pray to these tactics of the channels. the sacred institution of marriage has been exploited on television for monetary gains and has become a good business strategy for the producers of such shows. The notion that marriages are full of fun and frolic is the reason why shows like these with no script and no concrete message have succeeded and however bad or degrading they are, they are still watched by a farely large audience. The attraction to Shaadi’s was also the reason behind the phenomenal success of a recent small budget Bollywood film like Band Baja Baraat which dealt with the preparation and management of “The Big Fat Indian Shaadis”.