Indian reality TV’s tryst with truth draws protests

NEW DELHI, July 26, 2009 (AFP) – The Indian version of a US reality TV show that extracts secrets from minor celebrities has caused protests and a furore in parliament with its focus on infidelity, incest and other taboo subjects.

Indian Express columnist Shubhra Gupta was similarly insistent that viewers should be the final arbiters of what constitutes good taste — and good television.

“Unless it appeals to the audiences the show will not run,” Gupta said.

“The line of questioning may be questionable but I don’t have the right to force my opinion down anyone’s throat,” she said, adding that “Sach Ka Saamna” had “raised the bar” on what is permissible.

“In that sense it is a landmark for Indian TV.” MPs from various parties queued up this week to denounce “Sach Ka Saamna” or “Facing the Truth” as indecent and an assault on Indian culture.

On Wednesday, the government issued the Star TV company that broadcasts the programme with a show cause notice, asking it to explain why the show should not be banned.

Petitions demanding a stay on broadcasts of the show have been filed with the New Delhi High Court and there have been organised protests outside Star’s main offices.

The channel insis