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CNN-IBN – setting the (lower) bound for Indian journalism January 31, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in india, media, rant.
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CNN IBN’s Raksha Shetty on Suneil Shetty :

Actor Suniel Shetty, also a successful hotelier, attributes his survival in the film industry almost purely to his Bunt background and the disciplined work ethic that comes with it.

“I used to work in my father’s hotel for about 18 hours a day, in the kitchen, doing the accounts etc. So when I came to the film industry it was much easier. It has made me strong here in this industry,” he says.

I have an objection with most of what is written above but primarily with the use of “almost purely”.

Now lets imagine what actually happened. Shilpa Shetty won n all and reporter Raksha Shetty decided that it was a good opportunity to write about the Bunt community. She asked the actor about his background and how it helped him. What could Mr. Shetty say ? He is a celebrity after all and he can’t hurt people’s sentiments nor anger them by saying “No, my community didn’t matter. My father is a hard task master and if I didnt work as hard as he did, he would whip my arse”. He can’t even say – “No comments.” So he said something that that would not piss off anyone and would please his fellow community members. ( including the reporter ). Pareto optimum solution as they say !

Whether what Suniel said is true or whether he said so merely not to piss off anyone, such an exchange is not of any value in a national channel’s website. If you want to highlight the achievements of the Bunt community, it makes more sense to come up with some numbers, sound statistics like Per capita, % with Bachelors degree, number of businesses owned relative to population rather than getting sound bytes from people whose only job is giving them out.

The last sentence from the article takes the cake though :

Call it values or a sheer survival instinct, from the dreaded underworld gangster Sharad Shetty to Aishwarya Rai to this correspondent, the small population isn’t stopping the Bunt community from forging ahead.

Excuse me Ms. Raksha Shetty, you obviously look forward to your children’s success and would love to see them “forge ahead in life” – is the Mumbai underworld a prospective career for them then ? Or was that a tongue-in-cheek remark ?

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