13 June, 2021

The Great Gambler

Star Plus is spending crores to make moneybags out of us Indians. But will 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' deliver for the channel or Amitabh?

The Great Gambler

What does the just-launched, maha-hyped Kaun Banega Crorepati show prove? That greed binds us all. And that we are pretty ignorant as a people. Such observations, however, do not do justice to the game show that has not just captured popular imagination, but hijacked it. Since the Amitabh Bachchan-hosted show hit prime time, the trickle of participants wanting to warm the "hot seat" has become a torrent, with Star Plus proudly claiming to have received over eight million calls in just a month since the show was announced. And that the number continues to rise as Ramesh K. Arora became the first contestant last week to walk away with a fabulous Rs 25-lakh cheque, inflaming aspirations to fever-pitch.

The copyright of the original Who Wants to Be a Millionaire game show from UK has been tickling the avarice in human nature in over 36 countries. In the US alone, over 30 million people choose this show over the rest of the TV babble. "But nowhere does the host enjoy the superstar status of Amitabh Bachchan, which we see as a double bonus," avers Sumantra...

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