Musical content has been hijacked by song and dance shows in music channels

Anyone watching Indian music channels would surely be thumb-rubbing their eyes to recheck the channel logo.

Who can blame them when reality shows — based on one bizarre theme after another — are beamed on these channels all day? Channel V's ‘Love Net' is a case in point. Online friends are set up to meet as blind dates. But not before a series of pre-date manoeuvres, including meeting the date's friends and “investigating” the date's room for “evidence” that may prove that what he or she professes may be a pack of lies. This gives the “investigators” licence to rummage through cupboards, undergarments and what have you.

Another one in the channel's series of over-the-top reality shows is ‘Dare to Date', which has now been upgraded to ‘Date My Folks'. The premise is similar. Two (or three to complete the triangle) strangers are paired with each other. They go on separate dates after which the “central character” picks his/her date. In the upgraded version, parents choose the date! And we thought arranged matches was history.

How can we miss out on MTV's ‘Roadies'? Young college-goers prove their “skills” in front of a panel of judges who are as mean as Shylock at an audition.

The chosen ones have to go through a series of tasks involving anything from eating worms to getting bludgeoned ‘you know where', before one person “earns respect” by becoming a Roadie.

The myriad singing and dance shows on other channels are as dramatic as soap operas thanks to judges who love to bully, worry and pick on anxious contestants.

Successive editions of ‘Indian Idol', ‘Dance India Dance', ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi', ‘Big Boss' and even ‘Swayamwar' and their numerous clones have only pushed the boundaries of sanity further.

Curiously, the TRPs of these shows are never as low as their IQ. And till the time the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting threatens to take away their prime time status, viewers will have to endure the emotional athyachar!

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