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Gather knowledge, but do a little peek first!

For a long time, there was no such advertisement on television, which was discussed or whose idioms would go on people’s tongues. There was opposition to some advertisements for religious and cultural reasons, but no advertisement had come which pointed fingers at any reality of the society. This drought is over with the advertisement of the new season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. The three commercials of the new season have pointed fingers at the biggest problems facing India at the moment. India’s biggest problem right now is lies! And the second problem is the introduction of an alternative truth! Both these works are being done in a very systematic manner through traditional and social media. Some people are carrying out this work for a specific purpose, while some people are involved in it because of their religious-social beliefs and some people are unknowingly becoming a part of it. In the advertisement of the new season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, Amitabh Bachchan is exposing these three types of people.

The first type is of those who are associated with the traditional media and those who had reported about the chip in the new two thousand rupees note. These people have been made fun of in an advertisement. It has been told how much damage can be caused to those who blindly trust the news of television channels. The second type is of those for whom the only source of news is WhatsApp messages. They get messages forwarded on WhatsApp and they trust them. They are not aware that they have been profiled on social media and the message they are getting is being delivered after knowing their caste, religion and political orientation. Because of their belief or their conditioning, they take this message to heart and trust it. The second ad takes a jibe at people who consider social media forwards to be the ultimate wisdom. The third type is of those people who are unnecessarily in a hurry and believe the news without checking it and even forward it. In the third ad of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, it takes a jibe at people who feel they have little time and a lot of work to do.

The tagline of all the three advertisements is ‘Gather knowledge from where you meet, but first grope’. This is a fine line. Although it is a different matter that any information or information cannot be called knowledge. It is also true that the makers of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ may call it a program of knowledge but it is a program of information and knowledge. Secondly, it is like a ‘glorified gambling’ because people call for months, years, then they get a chance to participate in this program. In the first few seasons, only educated and rich people of middle or upper class got a chance in this. But later its format was changed due to decrease in TRP. The makers showed social concern and made it a medium for empowerment of people from backward and disadvantaged geographical areas and social groups. It also had programs to help NGOs. Despite this, it is a program of general knowledge rather than knowledge. But keep in mind that common sense is the first step in the journey towards knowledge. The journey starts from there.

The importance of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ ads is for two reasons. The first reason is that an attempt has been made to protect the first step in the journey of knowledge, that is, the media of information, from pollution, or at least that danger has been pointed out. There are mainly two mediums of information – traditional media and social media. The kind of information being spread on these two has many dangers. This is increasing ignorance among the people and at the same time helping the divisive and fundamentalist forces. If a small number of people, influenced by the advertisements of this program, start looking for sources of information or investigate them before believing, then the country and society will be very good. All three advertisements have been explicitly admonishing victims of misinformation, but also very closely targeting those who promote and disseminate such information. If they are ashamed at all, then the bigger purpose of this advertisement will be served.

One of the reasons why these advertisements are considered important is that despite the pressures of the times, any mainstream television media or a content company or a well-known presenter has taken the risk of telling the truth. The biggest problem of today’s time is telling the truth. It is an act of great courage if someone shows a mirror in the time of fabricating lies and alternate truths. Everyone knows how those who spread lies and rumours are roaming freely and those who expose them are being sent to jail! Those who instigated religious sentiments did not even shave their hair, but the one who exposed them went to jail. It is an act of great courage to advise people in such difficult times that they should scrutinize any news before believing it, otherwise they may be harmed. The makers of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, Sony Network which aired it and its presenter Amitabh Bachchan have indeed acted with courage and responsibility. Despite being a megastar, Amitabh Bachchan never went out of order or popular discourse. His film characters always fought against the system but largely remained with the system. Perhaps for the first time they have stood up against the evil that is making the country mentally bankrupt.

Shubham Bangwal

Shubham Bangwal is a Senior Journalist at You can follow him on Twitter @sb_0fficial
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