Bigg Boss: More drama off screen than on

Reality shows are usually full of desperate people being a nuisance on-set. This time, members of the Shiv Sena party are the ones making trouble.

Nadir Hassan October 11, 2010
Flinging accusations of fascism is usually a sign that you have lost a debate and are resorting to name-calling as a substitute for substantive argument. It has become an epithet, rather than a description of a certain political mentality and ideology. It's a shame, then, that no other word exists that could accurately describe the antics of the Shiv Sena. The political party, which follows a strict ideology of Maharashtran supremacy, has been protesting the latest season of Bigg Boss, the Indian version of reality show Big Brother, for committing the cardinal sin of having two Pakistani contestants.

Never mind that accused murderer and self-professed dacoit Seema Parihar is also part of the show. The fascist mentality judges a person not by the content of their character but by their religion, nationality, ethnicity and skin colour. Even those who are of the right 'breed' must past a purity test. When cricketer Sachin Tendulkar had the temerity to say he considered himself an Indian first and a Maharashtran second, Shiv Sena knives were quickly brandished. Tendulkar thought he was just reciting an inoffensive homily, one that no sane person would consider remotely offensive. A day later, he was being burned in effigy.

Comedian Ricky Gervais, whose two TV shows, The Office and Extras, were a savage indictment of the reality-show culture, once said, "'I watch reality shows to hate the people in them. Desperate wannabes." This time, the desperate wannabes are making a nuisance of themselves outside the set of the reality show. It would be great if we could ignore them, the way we ignore reality-show contestants after they are ignominiously booted out of whichever house/deserted island/ corporate boardroom they were a part of. But when the wannabes have weapons and political power, they must be fought, not ignored.
Nadir Hassan An Islamabad based journalist who tweets at @Nadir_Hassan.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


lalit | 13 years ago | Reply From Amitabh Bachchan to Shahrukh Khan,and Karan Johar to Sachin ,hardly any celebrity has escaped the wrath of these venom spewing hooligans,the so called guardians of national and marathi organization who is highly allergic to Pakistan has a track record of political double standards.point to be noted is the boss of shivsena Bal Thakre greeted ex Pakistani cricketer Jawed Miandad( who happens to be a relative of Daud Ibrahim,the most wanted criminal in India ) at his home.and that great saviour of Marathi culture Raj Thakre who despises uttering even the National language and prefers Marathi was at the forefront of organizing Michael Jackson's show in Mumbai when he used to be a shivsainik.instead of sending his wards to a Marathi medium school he prefers Bombay scottish ,a reputed english medium(pay attention to word Bombay which they so stubbornly hate).preaching and practicing hate is the only skill these chacha- bhatija,are perfect at.hate was such overwhelming that they could'nt accommodate one another and party split.after all hate gives rise to hate only,and never helps in a constructive manner.good that people of Maharashtra have shown them their real place value.
SKChadha | 13 years ago | Reply To my understanding Shiv Sena and MNS are regional political parties of Maharashtra. The parties in their ideology are protectors of Marathi Manus. To keep their vote bank intect at times their protests become violent resulting in vandalism and hooliganizm. This hooliganism is in the name of Marathi Manoos and limited to protection of their rights in Maharashtra. I am not a supporter of either Shiv Sena or MNS. However, these parties are having strong Nationalism and anger against historical invasions of Maharashtra by Muslim rulers as also against Pakistan. I have not seen any hate mongering by the party against Indian Muslims as long as the Muslim community do not support ties with Pakistan in any manner. In fact, by doing so, they also attract votes of people who are against having normal relations with Pakistan. Having my ancestral roots in Pakistan, I see their action as incorrect and in favour of normal relations with Pakistan. However, as an Indian, I also do not see anything wrong in their political ideology. Yes, their violent protests, against Non-Maharashtrians, when they results in vandalism or hooliganism, are required to be checked by the law enforcing agencies. These parties at times generate fear psychosis in the minds of non-maharshtrians living in and around Mumbai.
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