Reality shows getting too personal?

Rajeev Khandelwal hosting the controversial 'Sacch Ka Saamna'

Welcome to the new age reality shows which compete with each other for the "meanest" tag and where nothing is personal anymore.

The latest trend in reality TV is that the shows are based on international formats and as the channels struggle to edge past in the war of TRPs, the new mantra of success is "the more provocative, the better".

'Sach Ka Saamna' the show which sparked the entire debate asks 21 questions of the contestants which probe into their personal histories, the answers to which are immediately verified by a polygraph test ruling out any scope for a lie.

It has irked a Delhi-resident so much that he went to the High Court here alleging that the show is "obscene and against Indian culture and ethos". The case has now been referred to a division bench and a hearing is scheduled for July 29.

The matter also caused a furore in Rajya Sabha with Kamal Akhtar of Samajwadi Party raising objection over the content saying obscene questions are asked by the anchor of the programme.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had issued a show cause notice to the channel, which has to reply by July 27.

So is the show really against Indian ethos?
Actor Rajeev Khandelwal, who anchors the programme, does not believe so. "The tone of the show does not offend Indian sensibilities because it has been made keeping Indian audiences in mind. It is about testing a person's courage to speak out the truth and not demeaning," the actor said adding that the contestants have the option to leave the hot seat if they are not comfortable with a question.

MTV reality show SplitsvillaReality shows like MTV's 'Roadies', Splitsvilla', 'Sach Ka Saamna' on Star Plus, 'Rakhi Ka Swayamvar' on NDTV Imagine and Sony TV's 'Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao' and 'Bigg Boss' are based on international reality shows like 'Moment of Truth', 'The Bachelorette', 'Big Brother' and 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here'.

Sony TV's 'Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao', which has a host of B grade celebrities like Shweta Tiwari, Chetan Hansraj, pop singer Anaida, Aman Verma, battling it out to survive in a rain forest has raised eyebrows with it's sexual undertones with the male and female stars camped in Malaysian rain forest openly discussing their past relationships.

However, Gurdip Bhangoo, Senior VP & Head of programming, Sony, defends the programme by saying, "What the contestants talk about is something we cannot direct or manipulate."

MTV Roadies 6.0MTV's 'Roadies' and 'Splitsvilla' had their share of controversies including an MMS scandal allegedly involving two contestants and the use of foul language.

'Splitsvilla's former contestants have alleged that underage drinking was encouraged to trigger indecent behaviour on screen for the sake of TRPs, a charged denied by the channel.

"We don't have under age contestants and no alcohol because there is no money to buy alcohol," Ahish Patil, GM MTV India told a news channel.

Similarly, 'Bigg Boss' which completed two successful seasons on Sony grabbed headlines with item girl Payal Rohatagi wearing a swimming costume and expletive ridden fights between Raja Chaudhary and Sambhavna Seth.

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