by Diya Barmecha
One of the most famous Indian television game shows, Kaun Banega Crorepati first aired in 2000. Even after 20 years there are lakhs of viewers who await this show. Based on the British program of “Who wants to be a Millionaire,” this show allows contestants to win upto 7 crore Indian rupees. The contestants are asked questions about various topics and are given four options to choose from and 45 seconds to make their choice. To aid the contestants there are also many lifeline options available for their use. Majority of the show is hosted by Bollywood megastar, Amitabh Bachchan who is a respected actor and citizen of India.
Due to the current coronavirus situation there have been significant changes made in the show. This was the first year where there was no live audience, to ensure safety. To try to duplicate this they will use the sound of the audience for the final edit. In past seasons there was an audience poll lifeline which has been replaced by a video-a-friend lifeline.
Along with these new changes for the first time, there is also an FIR filed against the show for the first time due to a controversial question asked. On October 30th, Bachchan asked the contests social activist Bezwada Wlison and actor Anup Soni a question worth Rs. 6.40 lakh. The question was as follows: “On 25th December 1927, Dr BR Ambedkar and his followers burned copies of which scripture?”
The options presented to the contestants were Vishnu Purana, Bhagavad Gita, Rigved and Manusmriti. All of the above which are Hindu sacred texts. The answer to the question above was Manusmriti. Amitabh Bachchan future explained Ambedkars actions as he said, “In 1927, Ambedkar condemned the ancient Hindu text Manusmriti to ideologically justify caste discrimination and untouchability and burned its copies.
The FIR or First Information Report is something that the Indian police prepares for each case to be investigated. This was filed by a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA named Abhimanyu Pawar. This legislator from Ausa in Latur district accused host, Amitabh Bachchan as well as the makers of the show, of hurting Hindu sentiments. He believes that action should be taken against the actor and Sony Entertainment Television for asking a question of religious texts on October 30th, 2020. He believes that this question was done “in an attempt to insult Hindus and create discord between Hindus and Buddhists who have been living in harmony.”
The BJP MLA said that since all options of the questions pertain to the Hindu religion, “It is clear that the motive behind this question was to hurt the sentiments of Hindus.” After this allegation Big B received huge amounts of criticism on social media. One user of Twitter accused the makers of this quiz show of deliberately adding these questions to raise issues so that the show’s target rating point or TRP of the show goes up. With a high target rating point there is an increase in advertising that reaches a target audience by any campaign or advertisement.
We may never know why that question was asked or if there was an ulterior motive.. However, this show continues to inspire and entertain people. Just on 11th November, a local of Delhi, Nazia Nasim will win 1 crore from this show.