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The Crorepati Narratives

The democratisation of the quiz and the transformation of Amitabh Bachchan constitute two parts of the analytical triangle. The third sociological strut is the recent crisis of cricket. And beyond the structure of 'Crorepati' is a fourth term - the middle class.

Editorials in India have little or no sense of fun. In fact, fun is separated from real life and allocated to the humour column, which can be alternately earnest or silly. Culture becomes the last domain of the puritan ethic where Sunday school sermons multiply as exponentially as fast-food outlets. The recent uproar around ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC) is one such event. It has taken the media by surprise. The responses have been ponderous. Newspapers have also had quick articles tracing the career of the programme.1

A British invention, it arose to stardom as an Americanised version. It failed in Japan as Japanese programmes are not allowed to offer huge bonanzas of money. The articles also offer arcane bits of information about the Americans who hit the jackpot or about the quiz scandal surrounding a famous literary critic. Fortunately quizzes in India, unlike cricket, are still an unspoilt sport.

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