All in the name of talent

Of all those decidedly-American concepts and notions that the Indian media has copied, the program called “Indian Idol” seems to establish once-and-for-all the breakaway from the straightforward implications of talentedness and establish on its own a new meaning for the word “recognition”.

It’s a wonder how simple it has become to alter perspectives with the advent of technology that makes information distribution a triviality: mass-telecasting and incentivization of specific behavioural attitudes – especially those conforming to the average needs of the audience – is all that it takes for a population as immature as the Indian one to come to conclusions. Perhaps it may not be fair to claim that the American or the British states, through a vast swath of the formative period at the conclusion of which they entered the modern era, did not face as much conflict as the Indian empire did, but it is definitely fair to establish that in a world that also includes developed American and British states, there is a sense of competition that is immodest and unabashed in its essence.

It must be noted that globalization is a relatively newer influence on shaping the way an individual sees the world, and that only when backed by economic forces is the change wholesome and, consequently, complete. For as long there is no interference with historically instituted traditions, the need for change is not presented with any opportunities to be associated with the same framework on the basis of which opinions are formed about real-world experiences.

How, then, does “Indian Idol” fit into this context? On the show, there is a massive stage, flanked on either side by tall ramparts scaffolded with speaker wires. This apparatus is subject to undeserving scrutiny by a large audience led by a panel of judges, some of whom profess only experience as knowledge and assume that the deficit may be purchased upon the prostitution of their applause. Cash rewards stay readied for the slightest hop and criticism stays readied for the slightest skip, and so is talent honed to perfection upon the grindstone of glamour. Investments are in the millions of rupees: its cause is its will.

Consider, simply, the case of Susan Boyle: appreciable as may have been the attention turned upon her plight, what really came off it but monetary rewards and a short-lived concern about singers other than herself who remain still within shadows? In fact, that is the difference between structuring a people-sourced event top-down instead of ground-up – it is only a surprise that investors don’t find it worthwhile to harvest the honest consequences, consequences that have the potential to find commercial purchase in the long-run.

Recognition, therefore, has taken on a commercialized connotation, one that noiselessly tolerates a corruption of its social or cultural significance, and in its place is made to suffer the consequences of corporate greed. A show such as “Indian Idol” is unnecessary – and demands consideration of the assumption that ability alone vindicates execution.

Let the Americans do what they do! In driving for censuses that renounce a “caste” column, in driving for a reformation of policy perspectives that will ensure we are supplied nuclear fuel even without signing the NPT, there is a hypocrisy that asks: where is the impetus to moderate our attitudes toward socioeconomic obligations, the fruition of which is an insurance of financial as well as aesthetic¬†prosperity?

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