All of you might not agree with me, and I do not want to impose my perception on anybody. However, I feel that there is a subtle racial implication in one of the Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) ads that are now being aired on TV.
The ad that I am referring to shows that an old and retired gentleman has come to a government office, where he is having some argument with a lady government officer, Ms. Sushma. During the course of the argument the old gentleman out of frustration says that he is not sure whether Ms. Sushma even knows who the writer of the Indian Constitution is. Enraged, Ms Sushma, who apparently does not know the name of the writer of the Constitution, makes fun of the issue and mocks at the gentlemen, instead of feeling ashamed of her ignorance. Eventually she is joined by two of her male colleagues, Mr. Jha and Mr. Sinha.
However, later one day Ms. Sushma gets an opportunity to face Mr. Amitabh Bachchan in the KBC hot seat, where she is asked the same question by Big B. And now she regrets the fact that she does not know the answer.
The ad is undoubtedly interesting and enjoyable. But it has a certain characteristic which I could not feel exactly comfortable about.
In the ad all the three “negative characters” – Ms. Sushma, Mr. Jha and Mr. Sinha are shown to be speaking with a strong “Bihari” accent. In fact, the surnames Jha and Sinha are well known Bihari surnames. And so this idea has been very clearly given that all these three people are Biharis.
And this is something I feel the creators of the ad should have avoided. Projecting members of a certain community as unscrupulous government officers is certainly not a very acceptable idea. It would have been still OK if only one of those three characters was shown as a Bihari. But the creators of the ad projected all of the three persons as Biharis, which clearly proves that they wanted to cash in on the so-called poor image of the Biharis in the rest of India.
It might so happen that it took place unconsciously, with the creators of the ad having no clear objective to poke fun at the Bihari community. Nevertheless, it has somewhat diluted the appeal of the ad which is otherwise well conceptualized and brilliantly presented.