Forget gender bias. What about swami bias?
Suresh Menon | November 18, 2011
First, a confession. I haven’t watched Big Boss 1 through 5 (faults on both sides, no doubt). Then, another: I am not likely to watch now that Swami Agnivesh has been paid or has paid up (depending on whom you believe) to become a part of it. Agnivesh means bright as fire, and some of his house mates certainly dress and act in a manner that suggests a fiery brightness or a bright fieriness, so he should fit right in. One more crazy is hardly likely to affect the balance.
From what I can gather, Agnivesh (let us not embarrass him by adding ‘Swami’ to the name of a man who will gossip with, complain about and garner publicity with some of the biggest gossips, complainers and publicity hounds in the business) has an agenda.
He hopes that through Big Boss he will (a) inspire the youth of India (b) teach Pooja Missra a lesson (c) draw attention to gender bias in the nation (d) teach his neighbours Gandhian values of renouncement and avoiding television appearances (e) inspire the Indian cricket team (f) suggest to Anna Hazare that he is a better man after all (g) produce a movie with Salman Khan (h) hint to the Nobel Peace Committee that he is a candidate for their annual award (i) challenge Sri Sri Ravishankar to get a role in Balika Vadhu (j) ensure that politicians confess to their Swiss Bank accounts (k) teach children (or at least Karan Johar) all about family values....
You take your pick.
When I was young, someone gave me this bit of advice: Go ahead and do exactly what you want to do – you can always justify it later. And it became a game to think up the most outrageous things to do and find a proper reason for it. Thus I could have poisoned the neighbour’s cat saying it was a manic depressive and I was putting it out of its misery; or taken a crow bar to an expensive car parked on the road and explained that this was a form of self-expression that should inspire the owner to spend more money on charity.
Should Agnivesh have taken up his new assignment? I don’t see why not. In fact, he can go a step further and sell space on his lovely outfit to sponsors or repeat a line from an advertisement six times per episode – not for private profit, mind you, but in the interests of keeping the wheels of the nation’s economy in motion. However you look at it, there is a trade-off. Agnivesh might bring a certain amount of intelligence to the group; in return he will absorb the pervading flakiness. There is a Gresham’s Law operating here too – the bad drives out the good. But I suppose if one Indian shows awareness of gender bias at the end of the season, Agnivesh will consider his job well done.
Then he can move on to more difficult assignments like being the villain in Ra.One 2 (part of his job description will be to ensure that the country’s youth does not mistake this epochal movie to be Ra Twelve). There he can inspire the young of India to give up smoking, not waste their time on video games and to take up meditation. He can undo some of the damage done by Shahrukh Khan consuming noodles with curds by attempting to eat jalebis with sambar. On such subtleties are the foundations of national integration laid.
Still, all that is in the future, and, as columnists know, between the writing and the publication lies the shadow. By the time you read this, Agnivesh might have decided that keeping away from Big Boss is the better part of valour (or a rival Swami might have offered more for the same role). That would be a pity. After all, this might just be the ticket for his ilk. Wouldn’t you like to watch a reality show where all the publicity-hungry swamis in India are forced to live under one roof and preach their stuff?
Forget gender bias. What about lecturing us about swami bias? Now that I would watch – the thought of Baba Ramdev in either of his gender outfits alone is so mouth-watering.
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