METRO PLUS

Of crime and criminals

INDIAN TELEVISION'S first popular crime-based show, India's Most Wanted showed us the path that crime and criminals too can be small screen edutainment or rather infotainment. Till the host himself became a crime accused, the biting reality bites, the skeletons brought out of police files, the netting-in of the Most Wanted through these episodes, no doubt gave all the thrill.

And, from thereon has been floating quite a handful of similar shows on almost all the news channels, which obviously, provokes one to take a fleeting look at the weekly TRP ratings, those magic numbers that writes the fate of all tele-rollouts. Often the dart hits Zee TV's weekend programme Crime File as the one with the highest digit.

"The programme is doing better than the others because of the kind of subjects we choose and also the format it is dished out in," reasons Vinod Kapri, the producer of the Saturday show. Anchored by Manoj Raghuvanshi, the man who took over India's Most Wanted from the original anchor, Suhaib Illyasi, Crime File is demarcated into five segments. It begins with the biggest crime of the week in Gunaah No. 1. Each episode looks at the investigation done in a solved high-profile case called Tehkikaat and searches through thousands of police files to bring to the viewer an untold story of an unimaginable crime, which is not yet solved, in the segment Police File Se. The section Talash Jari Hai shows some of the Most Wanted criminals from Police records in a bid to help police in solving cases.

Raghuvanshi wraps up each episode with Savdhan, a guide, mostly based on police safety rules, to protect an ordinary citizen from falling victim to crime.

"Of all the segments, we get most viewers' mails appreciating the part Savdhan which in a way, has made us conclude that the show's charm lies in it. Because, it is here that it connects to the public the most. The other crime shows do not provide any handy tips to avoid crime", says the Head of Output, Zee News. At a time when crime haunts us everyday and is changing the way we live, the show tells viewers things like why and how to avoid a deserted lane, what all to do while driving alone in the night, points to take care of while living on one's own etc.

"Besides, the gripping tales we chose to tell people also sustains interest. Take for example, the story of child sacrifice done in Western Uttar Pradesh that we showed recently. It gives education and awareness too", says Kapri, adding a line of caution at the end, "A most wanted criminal could be living next door to you and yet you do not know. Watching Crime File would help."

And now it is up to you whether you want to be James Bond at 10.30 p.m. on a Saturday night.

SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY

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