Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Missed Call & The Greatest Indian!

I was travelling when I read a tweet that there’s some contest called “The Greatest Indian”. I thought, like scores of other lists on twitter or about twitter, this would also be some twitter contest. Secretly, now that I have 900 followers, I hoped that even I could be one of the nominees. Soon, I saw some more tweets and realized that it’s big, bigger than I thought. Quickly, I scanned through the links ( The Greatest Indian ) and the nominees (of course, this post wouldn't be there if I was on the list ), and realized the portrayed magnanimity of this.

Since that day, I have been thinking about this, and surprised with the lack of outrage over it. I am still not over with it, and here are some of my reasons.

Concept: Seems the organizers are inspired by the Indian Idol where Anu Malik & other judges decide who reaches top 20 and then they leave it to the public to vote basis caste, creed, state, sex and the X factor.

Gandhi: The very fact that we are calling this “The Greatest Indian after Gandhi” is disturbing. Why not just say - The Greatest Popular Indian – Presented by Reliance and Brought to you by the Outlook, CNN-IBN & History. Why bring Gandhi into this whole thing?

Greatness: Who defines greatness? With voting in the hands of people of today’s generation,  it’s just about popularity. And, to me, Popularity is different than Greatness. To make it easy, there’s difference between Kamaal R Khan & Aamir Khan - one of them is just popular but not great.

Nominees:  It’s baffling to note that the likes of Mother Teresa, B.R.Ambedkar & Jawahar Lal Nehru shall compete with Sunil Gavaskar, Anand, Rajinikanth & Sachin Tendulkar. Won’t be surprised if a Bombay Times reading dude thinks it’s all about choosing between Sachin & Rajnikanth with some other 40 unfamiliar names.

Jury:  Agree that there is a list of 50 nominees to choose from, but what about the Jury. Who selected them? Chetan Bhagat, Shobha De & Vidya Balan–By what standards have they become eligible to choose a successor to Gandhi

Bollywood:  Isn’t this list too Bollywood / Film Industry nominees heavy? Amitabh Bachchan, Raj Kapoor, Rajnikanth, Satyajit Ray, Lata Mangeshkar, A.R. Rahman, Kishore Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Mohammed Rafi, are 10 among the 50 names.

Missed Call: Now come on, how the hell can we decide something as important as this by “Giving a Missed Call”. Very fact that 900million Indians have access to Mobile, and Missed Call doesn’t cost a dime, takes away the seriousness out of this whole concept. 

The Aftermath:  Now imagine that some dude beats the likes of Mother Teresa & B.R. Ambedkar in this. Won’t be surprised if the Inverter or the telecom company claims that their products are endorsed by the successor of Gandhi.

I finish my rant here, just got a “Missed Call” from my driver. I leave it to all of us either to take this seriously enough or just call it another Indian Idol.