Have you seen Tata Tea’s latest ad? The one with that irritating looking guy attempting to wake everybody up, outside a cinema hall, and then the delivery of the killer line, with a killer look of condescension – “Agar aap election ke din, vote nahi kar rahe ho, toh aap so rahe ho“. It’s quite an ad, and it doesn’t take much to figure out that we’re all wincing in our couches simultaneously with the movie going woman, who earlier tried to put him in his place. And it is quite an effort, where Tata Tea and Janagrahaa, the Bangalore based NGO which is committed to increasing citizen participation in local government and whose initiative this is, are concerned. It is credible that Tata’s CSR wing is taking itself seriously and thinking out of the box, and that an institution like Janagraha is getting much-required exposure out of it.
But shame on us – we need a corporate with a strategy and specially formed institutions to remind us that it is our fundamental duty to enlist for our voters’ card, and that it is fundamental duty, as citizens of a democracy to exercise our fundamental right to vote.
And while we’re on the topic of the telly’s offerings of the day, i’m sure you’ve seen, or at least heard, of MTV’s blockbuster of last season – Splitsville. a house full of ‘twinkies’, all fighting their way to winning the hearts of two losers on previous editions of MTV Roadies. And then, the chance of becoming a VJ, oh the ultimate thing EVER in this universe! A whole nation of urban-homed kids across economic classes might be sitting up and watching this shit, and learning what? How To Be Bitchier Than Thou, How To Be Conniving And Eel-like, How To Land The Man That Everyone Else is Eyeing, How To Excel In Degrees Of Shallowness. Actually, the last one isn’t what they teach, it’s what gets inculcated by the undercurrent running through all that these women, and Ranvijay (OOOH He’s so HOT!), say. To think, most of us would find the shock of such a show being conceptualised, shot and actually aired, without Raj Thackeray and ideological clones swooping down on them, too much to take. And the trivialisation of a whole generation of Indian youth to this level would not go down well. But, surprise surprise!, it has not only been masala-d and digested, it was also quite the talk of the town.
Where are we heading, my lovelies? Janagraha has a lot of work to do, before it will manage to even scratch the crust of these zombies’ souls. and Tata Tea might have to knock on other doors, like ‘lets go green’, to show some positive social responsibility outcomes.