Saturday, February 07, 2009

Why it is Time for an Indian Daily Show

When I was in India this past December, I noticed a couple of things on TV:

  1. India now has a C-SPAN like TV channel called Lok Sabha TV, with recordings of discussions in the parliament, and good, informed, and cultured discussions by experts.

  2. Doordarshan news (DD News) is pretty much the only channel which will give you actual _news_, without the extra sensationalism and crazy-talk that pretty much all major news channels in India suffer from. In some way, it has the potential to become NPR or PBS

And I believe that the above two features --- constant video record of statements made during sessions, and the utter failure of the mainstream media to actually focus on real issues and have decent discussion on them --- makes India a ripe place to have its own version of The Daily Show (TDS), an award winning show in the USA which I and many others happen to love, and consider to be one of the few sane voices of information there.

Sure, India has The Week that Wasn't, but in my opinion it still lacks the professionalism that TDS has, and is currently more of a buffoonary show, much like TDS was in its early years.

But we do not need to take as much time as the Americans did! How hard is it for Cyrus to create a segment that shows the blatant hypocrisy that politicians show before and after they have lost power?

Exhibit A. Jon Stewart pointing out how the dems and the republicans are switching sides now, and negating themselves. [the best part is at 5:20+]

Exhibit B. And then, maybe you can also, in a humorous way, tell people the other side of the fallacious arguments our leaders make, such as the one Dick Cheney made in his "who's responsible for that?" speech. Watch the video below for more.

[a more serious rebuttal of Cheney is here]

But seriously, why don't we have a show of the caliber of the daily show in India yet?!! The time has come. Is anyone listening?

P.S. NeverForget crossed 2000 hits! Have you seen it yet?


  1. We had our own versions (in fact, many of them) of The Daily Show. 'Movers and Shakers' was one...Shekhar Suman's recent 'Poll Khol' was another and hopefully another one is in the offing.

    But still, to have a show of that much political insight is difficult here, mostly because of the awareness levels of common public. I know, i know, you will say - that's WHY we need such raise the awareness.

    But then, Indian TV is right now too mired in making money (or making ways to make money) and words like 'smart', 'awareness', 'intelligent' can get you thrown out of a meeting within seconds. A TV show is a huge investment and if they can get double the TRPs by investing a quarter in 'Dancing Queen' then who cares abt ur daily dose of humor and politics.

    And in any case, our humor shows (some of the most popular ones) thrive on jokes ranging from toilet, eunuchs, gays, and misogyny. A new show with kids as 'comedians' is getting good ratings since a kid cracked jokes on Mallika Sherawat and her bust.

    I might sound hopeless but after 4 years here, I know it will take a miracle to change things. Shekhar Suman is our only hope...and that too is dependent on TV channel people.

    And as for Cyrus, i don't think he is qualified for anything more than buffoonery or at best, old-style public service messages.

    SO, you see, it's not a simple case of passing the buck, the reality is much more complex. (Or shall I say simpler?)

  2. Varun:
    1. Thanks for commenting. When I wrote this post, I was thinking of you only :).

    2. M&S was "The tonight show", and not "The daily show". The daily show is a "fake news" program.

    3. All the sad situations you have mentioned in the media exist in the USA also, but still the daily show exists, and is huge now. Wonder why? Maybe it is because it is part of an all-comedy channel, which does not need to be controlled by the news-wallas. How about Vijay Mallya opening a Kingfisher Comedy Central channel? It can have the kid making jokes about mallika's bust, but also the aaj-ke-some-chaar program.

    What say?