The loss of culture
The makers of SaReGaMaPa have sold the programme down the river.
With the elimination of good singers and the "green light" to at least a couple of undeserving ones [Paresh and Ujjaini], Gajendra Singh may regret public voting, the MDs may regret it, but the marketing folks in Zee must be opening champagne bottles. It is after all a ratings & revenues game. Once rotten programmes like Indian Idol and Gurukul opened the bottle and let out the genie of ratings/public voting, I bet Zee had no option but to follow suit, either by creating a programme to compete with them or by using an existing programme. Since SaReGaMaPa was readily available, they may have simply used that as a vehicle. In any case, the programme had steadily lost its high-quality output since Sonu Nigam's departure and this seems to have brought back the programme on page 3s and other fora. 3.5 million votes is a big deal. I would hazard a guess that the number of people who watch the programme but do not vote is much greater than 3.5 million. But 3.5 million SMS mesages at Rs. 6/- per message (as mentioned bya friend in a usenet newsgroup) means a lot of revenues for the telecom companies as well as the tv channel.
The name "SaReGaMaPa" is a misnomer. It bears no relation to the earlier programme of the same name. This one is a reality show. Filmi dialogue, crying buckets of tears, clips of participants romping around, participants acting out "roles", choreography, use of participants to promote malls/charity stuff and so on, ad nauseum.
All this was written for introducing new laws. Quizman's laws
1. All popular culture is dictated by the lowest common denominator.Now, all this begs for a niche of tv channels/magazines that provide material for people with triple digit IQs. In the United States, the govt is one such vehicle. NPR & PBS exist to develop and broadcast programmes that stimulate the intellect. The public library system exists to spread higher culture through books and events. Not only that, it actually spreads liberty, by broadening mass-awareness. These outlets spare us from the crass garbage generated by the popular commercial channels, kitschy books, and magazines.
2. Simplistic, mass-oriented output (tv, books) will always generate more revenue than high-quality, long-lasting good output.
3. The marketing folks will always dictate the creative content, regardless of supposed "no-interference" policies.
Alas, in India, DD seems to be leading the rush towards cultural suicide. Why can't DD follow the PBS model?