Prince of Kurukshetra

Media & Entertainment

Move over Budhiya Singh, Prince of Kurukshetra is here.

If you are living outside of India, maybe it’s an event that will entirely pass you by. But if you have watched any of the Indian TV news channels this Sunday, the story of the 6-year old boy, Prince, who fell down into a 60-feet deep bore well couldn’t have escaped you, no matter what.

The sequence of events is like this: Friday evening, some children are playing, when one of them falls into the well. In other times this would have been a tragedy that we hear/read about, feel momentarily sorry for, and carry on with our lives. But here along with help, arrives a CCTV camera, which is lowered into the deep pit. And a miracle occurs — the child is alive!

While his well-wishers see a ray of hope — the media sees a story. If you are a student of journalism and are looking for a perfect example of a ‘public interest story’ — this is it!

It has everything that makes for a sensational story. A tale of survival, the challenge of rescue efforts — a parallel tunnel being dug; oxygen and food being released; doctors and ambulances on standby; people offering prayers for the boy in mosques, gurudwaras, temples; Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi sending their best-wishes for the boy; Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda arriving just as the boy was about to be rescued. And not to forget the CCTV camera that was giving minute by minute images of the boy in distress. A day-long gripping drama, that generates spontaneous interest in viewers. And you won’t believe it — no advertisements!

And then the overwhelming moment when the boy finally resurfaces — the TV anchors go berserk with hyperbole:

“…dharti maa ki goud mein pachaas ghante bitaane ke baad, ab apni maa ki goud mein hai Prince…”

“…apne janamdin pe hua Prince ka punar janam…”

Now that congratulatory messages are pouring in and crackers are being burst far and wide, time for a pun intended closing line…

All’s well that ends well!

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8 thoughts on “Prince of Kurukshetra

  1. Hey Come-on what is the wrong in this, they are also there to make money and get the attention of the public, so from their point of view they are correct.. we all have been told the Desi-Proverb “Baahti Ganga Main Haathh Doo Loo” and in more sophisticated English, “ Strike the Iron when it is Hot.. so Why Not? Hmm…. If a film fantasy can break ones of a viewer’s bone but the film producer gets Rs 150 crores from box-office world-wide, spend money on NDTV-news channel for an half hour promo-programme, what is wrong with King-TV, I think this boy’s screams would not have been heard out-side his pot-hole leave alone the India. Well yes one thing King-TV did not share any revenue with Hero-Prince that is the violation of the contract- of this reality TV Show…… ;-)

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  2. My view on this is more neutral — I haven’t criticized it, not would I marvel in amazement at the media’s role. But a couple of points I would like to highlight:
    1.) The media is capable of being much worse — remember the Gudiya disgrace on Zee TV. So by that yardstick, this is far better.
    2.) Let’s not simplify TRPs so much. TRPs work more for regular programming, where the advertiser plans for his message to be seen by a greater of people — meaning a programme with higher TRPs. “Breaking News” channels don’t have that kind of liberty.
    3.) At best it helps in building the brand for the TV channel, alongwith some social marketing — Zee announces it will bear the educational expenses of the boy.
    4.) There are reports that some advertisers want to sing on Prince! there you go!

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