Who are we laughing at?

I saw a video couple of days back doing rounds of Facebook. It was the video of a Doordarshan reporter reporting from IFFI – titled “The most stupid DD Anchor straight from IFFI, Goa”. The video went viral after being released and the reporter being slammed for being the most stupid anchor. The initial share I saw, is now made private. There was an article too by India Today group which aptly titled it 20 howlers from the most stupid TV anchor ever – Do not think of going there, it’s removed now.

I too laughed for sometime but then I realized what a sad state if mind we have!

Doordarshan is a state run channel and with advent of cable\sattelite television it has lost the race long time back. As a child I would crib that we did not have the cable TV while most of my friends had. Then kids used to speak of WWF, Rock, HHH, Meher and Tulsi – it was alien to me and I would try for Shaktimaan, Duck Tales, Talespin.

Doordarshan did start with terrestrial transmission because of costs. India being a huge country with most people from villages, it was a intelligent idea. I could get some decent signal with just 3 wires when monkeys broke our antenna and I did not want to miss a show. Down the line it became a status symbol and it gave the house skyline a cleaner look. Well, I don’t know the reason of cable TV then maybe just a idea of outsourcing terrestrial wires.

There was a time, Doordarshan did well too but sadly we never knew it was incubating other channel biggies (Pranoy Roy, Aaj Tak?). Once there was DD Metro too. The prime time slot of Metro Gold on DD Metro shook Star TV. The Metro Gold did show what terrestrial transmission can do. It was so big that Star TV chose to re-air most of them from beginning.

Does any of these ring a bell? Alif Laila, Surabhi, Sea Hawks, Shaktimaan, Captain Vyom, Chitrahaar, Chandrakanta, School Days, Shirmaan-Shrimati, Tu Tu Main Main, Circus, Fauji, Wagle ki Duniya, Hum, Malgudi Days, Tenali Raman, Turning Point, The Sword of Tipu Sultan, Shri Krishna, Mahabharata, Ramayan, Chanakya, Chandrakanta, Nukkad, Diskey Hour, Byomkesh Bakshi, Tehkikaat, Mungerilal ke Haseen Sapne, Karamchand, Tarang, Meri Awaz Suno… I don’t know how much I can recollect. All these shows started on Doordarshan but where are they now? Spread around to all the channels for reruns.

What happened in between? As I believe, that is what happened: Doorsharan always got fresh programs and after the season ended, re-air was out of question because it was trying to give new faces a chance unlike “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” which will bring in more and more character where Baa will still be alive for over 1000 years. Same shows have been airing on satellite channels for ages now and the shows from Doordarshan are being rerun. In my opinion, Doordashan got the talent. It was free and of course quality was compromised not in programs but in visual appeal. Satellite channels added in beautiful ads and wrapped the same back to people. We loved our programs and once the shows moved, we did too. Slowly and steadily the viewership of Doordarshan declined. It was difficult to get fresh programs because the viewership was dwindling and no one wants to be on sinking boat. I remember, I got the cable connection in my house in 2004 and since then have plethora of channels. We discarded our trusted old TV set because it could only support 9 channels. Now, 10 years down the line, we have a TV which only runs 1 channel – VHF – and 1 set top box which has hundreds of channels and we watch a handful. There may be tens of news channels but when we want actual news, I do turn to DD News. A news channel should be about news and not views – I can make my own views. There was a time my dad would wait for news time and for those 30 minutes it was all news. Now, with 24×7 news channels, it’s difficult to find the actual news and what they feed is their views.

When this lady reporter was being made fun off, I chuckled and thought why would someone do that. Then I asked again, Why would someone do that? Doordarshan covering  an event and with such host? Doordarshan never had a face for its hosts all you get is a voice over of what was happening on scene – this saved them time to cram in news and spare us the view. Clearly I could see the girl was nervous and she was constantly being fed with interviewees. I could see uncomfortable pauses in between where she would repeat same sentence. If I could screen the video, the voice was narrating the actual events as if being told on radio or the age old voice over. I’ve my sympathies with the girl that she became famous for a wrong reason but the way I see it, this was desperate moves from Doordarshan to bring a face to the show so it could also boast some air time. The girl could’ve failed at her job but who put her there should be blamed. Every anchor has a teleprompter or an earphone to get prompts. Why not the producer of show ensured everything for her? It was sheer inexperience and joy of being at such level – a dream to become a national anchor.

The girl could not do her job properly and we failed miserably to understand why she could not. I don’t care if its IFFI or iffy or the thing about the peacock. It is more difficult to stand in front of camera and speak else we would’ve great orators and actor and anchors in those who criticised the anchor for being “stupid”. And in case that is not sufficient, how many did watch the DD News or even the  telecast of the program – what if it was Jackie Chan’s idea of including a gag reel? It is like laughing on an unknown person who just fell to floor by hitting a pole – Will you help or stand there laughing?

Who are you laughing at now?

Considering the sensitive nature, this has been marked as political.

5 thoughts on “Who are we laughing at?”

  1. Disagree with the analysis.

    First and foremost job of an anchor is to pronounce right and this is ONLY part of Job Description as basic requirement. As about Teleprompter, then having anchored a few functions myself, I can assure you, TP is not the case everywhere and for every occasion and majority of anchor happens without it. If one is seeking career in this field then he/she can’t get away with such excuses.

    As about feeling embarrassed on becoming subject of fun, then I wonder if the lady consider herself having material to stand at even any stage, leave national stage. Such trivias sure get made fun of and would continue being so as a reminder that not everyone can just walk over stage to randomly say anything. The limelight always comes with pros and cons. Proportion of exposure get decided by public and chance, not by the content or level of anchor otherwise Kumar Vishwas likes couldn’t be this big suddenly just by video of college show. We all have been made fun of at one point of time or another, proportions might have varied but this is nothing new for anyone here. As bigger the stage, as bigger the fun might be and in times of youtube, sky is the limit. What celebs are subjected to .. anyone standing on national platform can be subjected to this way and this is ONLY NATURAL, nothing to be ashamed off.

    Coming about DD Anchors, then if you are any close to Ads business then you would know that old DD Anchors still known as GOLD STANDARD for any recording. Those ladies charge roughly 75k-1Lakh just for a 30 second recording and what other newcomers do in multiple takes, I myself seen in person that they accomplish in single take. So, quality compromise is sure a YES here and the administrators and system sure needs to share the blame but that’s a different story altogether and bigger exercise.

    Victimhood cry and tantrums like an anchor can’t handle the jokes upon her is sure not done. When anchors can make fun of anything without even knowing full details, it goes both way and it would continue to be so

    1. We all love bloopers but this was a cumulative fail rather than any individuals. I agree with you and I did say she could not fulfill her profile. My point was to show sides we generally neglect be it administration or bringing in the quality. The way I see it, it’s a desperate attempt of Doordarshan trying to catch up.

  2. We can’t really blame DD. Its actually appreciated that they trying new things than stereotypes. Something’s may prove to be asset and some may become blooper. Amost all big media celeb anchors are born at DD at some point or another in similar ways so if one happen s to be on another side due to her mistake (however small) then nothing strange. Its nothing like someone is lynching her or throwing stones when she is out on roads.

    A lot of aspects when you look at things Radio/DD and even media trying to do in nowadays when revenue falling sharp. Not easy to be relevant and at top of everything all the time. One can always blame anyone of being out of pace but as per system, the blame of particular incident isn’t on system really.

  3. the kind of anarchy on at present in DD NEWS is tremendous on sychophancy rigging in exams and employing favourites what are ihe authorites doing some of these BABUS need a kick

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