Duplication, Replication or Imitation. Working principal of Indian Television Industry.

Life has lighter shades as well and they too need attention. Shilpa Shetty is bollywoods most undermined and sexiest actress. Her belly is more to cause envy in women rather than desire in men. Nobody had thought that she would stir a political drama on international level. She was invited in UKs high TRP program called celebrity big brother and everybody saw the civilized British celebrities passing racial comments on her. She burst into tears and British Parliament as well as Indian Parliament was shaken.


But I have absolutely no plans to comment on that. What I wish to talk about is the copy cat culture among Indian TV serial makers. On the lines of ‘Who wants to be the millionaire’ we had KBC and on the lines of American Idol we had ‘Indian Idol’. The same legacy has continued till ‘Big Boss’ which is a copy of program where Shilpa Shetty was allegedly faced apartheid.


Its not a recent phenomenon. Most of those classic hindi movies and TV serials were actually a copy of someone else’s work. Do you remember ‘Do aankhien barah hath’? I was stunned to know that V. Shatarams 1970 classic was actually a ditto copy of ‘Blue haven’. Not one or two but I can give hundreds of examples.


We people here often laugh at Pakistani movies because they seem to be a very bad imitation of Indian counterparts. Same is the case with Indian Art in US or UK. Mahesh Bhatt is one of the elite movie makers in India has not made even a single original movies except ‘Wo Lamhe’, which is his own biography. All the recent flicks from Krishh to Malamal Weekly were imitation of Hollywood movies. Even ‘Lagaan’ was a modified version of ‘Two and Half time in the hell’ but it was well made and there was some element of originality in it. There are movie makers such as Maniratnam, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Sudhir Mishra who does make original and good movies.


When we focus to television things go worse. Almost all those TRP fetching programs except Ektaa’s soaps are imitations. However the producers show full irresponsibility by not mentioning the original concept. But when one sees Ektaa’s soaps we find these imitations much more entertaining. The best way to find out if Indian women has really empowered itself will be finding out if TRP of these serials have reduced.


Star plus got a steroidal boost from KBC and every TV producer surfed US and UK channels for fresh (?) ideas. Then we had Indian idol, Sa re ga ma pa, Big Boss, Shabash India, Zee Horror show, Laughter challenge, Nach Baliye……


Nothing wrong in imitatiting successful models, but what about originality in art? When would we get to see programs that truly reflect Indian values? Shashi Tharoor had written a book called ‘how business’. Someone made a movie on it called ‘Bollywood’. The movie depicted nothing that Shashi tried to show in his book. Long time has passed since I have seen a serial like ‘Vyomkesh bakshi’ or Faticher or Nukkad or Malgudi Days.


Doordarshan like every other government enterprise has lagged behind. Due to shortage of programs they are importing old Korean programs and telecasting them. Nevertheless they are better than the usual programs.


Scene is not that blunt. We do have some good programs like ‘Office Office’ (I doubt the originality but the concept fits better to India than anything else),  Return of ‘Karamchand’ and very few other.


Among non Indian channels there are some serials which are very entertaining and generations ahead of any Indian Imitator. I cant assume that everyone likes them or can understand them but they do have a good storyline and entertainment value. BeastMaster, Amazon, ALIAS are the top ones on AXN. Full House (re telecast) is the one I enjoy most. The Apprentice was a masterpiece, there are a boquet of such serials on HallMark I loved the Hawking’s Biography. History Channel also telecasts some good ones like Sherlock Holmes, Jumbo movies on Nero, Rome, Hitler and St. Peter.


Some how I feel Indian Media is yet to get mature and learning through imitating others but that does not mean they should not experiment and come up with something original. Waiting for such a day.



30 thoughts on “Duplication, Replication or Imitation. Working principal of Indian Television Industry.

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