Why does Indian media lack political satire shows?

Political Satire is a very important component of entertainment and plays a very important part of helping keep the public aware about national politics and politicians in general. People consider Politics as really boring and it is no coincidence that satirists play a vital role in forming opinions.

Most free countries in this world, have political satire shows be it Europe or America – every country has intelligent and gutsy political satire shows. America excels in this aspect where there are so many political commentators. Rambodoc has built his blog with his signature WEAKLY HUMERUS NEWS posts based on the text transcripts of entertainers and commemorators like Letterman, Novak, Hamilton and Bartez to name a few. And its only because of their belief in democracy that the president can be openly be lampooned by entertainers like Colbert (do watch the video)

Link here if the video doesn’t work.

Russia the totalitarian regime, had to ban Kukly on NTV and that was not all, the the state oil giant gazprom took over NTV rather unceremoniously to curb its free news/ independent reporting.

India has a very few shows NDTV/ NDTV India has one, GUSTAKI MAAF and its english avatar , both rippoffs of kukly but they are rather mild. Alpha Marathi channel had another Ghadle Bighadle (Done Undone) which was hugely popular and outed many of the inner dealings of Maharashtra’s political elite (i think it got shut down). The question is why are there so few a shows in India and is there self censorship by media houses to be in the good books of the state ?

Even the news has a degree of self censorship, and glossing over important issues.

Take the example of the current Amarnath row, when a highly opinionated Barkha D goes on record in her NDTV show saying – it is a jammu / kashmir issue – when the on ground situation shows a clear and amazing unity of the NC, PDP, some of the Congress politicians and the single Communist politician Muzaffar Beig and the separatist bunch Hurriyat or its splinter groups… and clearly on religious lines, as the state has been virtually shut down by all and sundry supporting this agitation to supposedly protect forest cover from destruction (where were they when the forests were being chopped down to fund the AKs? ) that too in the only Muslim majority state in India ( which has no minority commission to safeguard minority rights), which makes me think where has the Kashmiriyat gone ?


10 thoughts on “Why does Indian media lack political satire shows?

  1. Prax:
    I have often thought of this myself. This lack of openness in expressing harsh opinions is surely a reflection of the hollowness of ‘democracy’.
    The Govt. is still a big source of incentives (housing, loans, etc.) for the journalists, as well as a major contributor to the ad revenues. They are all in bed together, but it is the public which is getting screwed!

  2. Good point you raise.

    And reminded me of this show called ‘Ji Mantriji’ that used to air on TV many years back. This was based on the British ‘Yes Minister’. From what i remember it didnt run for too long. It was funny..but probably too much for the people in power to bear.

    AD thanks and welcome to my blog

  3. Prax,
    A few years back an entertainment channel had started a political satire based on Lalu Yadav and family. The names were changed but the target was very clear. It was banned by the court. ‘Gustakhi maaf’ is repetitive although I don’t think it is mild. Satire may be missing but otherwise our press is not that bad. There are channels openly criticising the ruling party. Every channel has its own favourites depending upon the views of the editors but who so ever they are against they openly do that.
    Rambodoc, //They are all in bed together// journalists are a part of the society we live in. They are as honest as our judges, bureaucrats and people from other professions. I would not compare them with the politicians because they are beyond comparison; on the top of the table as far as corruption is concerned.

  4. prerna, i consider it a mild copy
    u are entitled to your opinion

    india lacks investigative journalism and is abundant with yellow or egoistic journos like B Dtt, D Ssi and his wife or the Pti chairman N ram of Chindu , who hardly criticize the political partys, that their media group favors.

    The big story – The Bangaru flick – the tape that caught him do what most politicians do take donations – in black – was not really great but a mundane habit caught on tape – and the promoters of tehelka were also suspect and some of them were a part of the big bear group headed by the then chief of BSE Mr Rathi.

    The only few people who actually are great journos are people like Sucheta dalal and D datta
    a rear bread who bring out the behind the scenes news without the sensationalisation.

    Ur //They are as honest//
    reminds me of the movie Jane bhi do yaroon
    and correct me if im wrong nothing has changed.

  5. not only shows, there are not even many websites on satire in India as compared to the western world where dozens exist only in the USA. we have such a colorful political and social legacy and it’s really sad that there are not enough form of satire, except for cartoons in the dailies.

    I have tried, in my own modest way, to do something in this direction – http://www.fakingnews.com
    feedback is most welcome

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