By Ishan Bhaskar,

A few years ago, the only way one could reach the audience through a visual medium was either through the TV or movies. The big and the small screens were very convenient and nominally structured at the #1 and the #2 spot respectively. It was always that the TV was seen as a ladder to reach Bollywood, which was the ultimate goal. Things went on like this for quite some time until times changed, minds became ‘domesticated’ and hooked on to the overtly dramatic serials made by a certain female entrepreneur. They spun the game for the Television industry, and now it had an identity and was not merely a conduit. On the other hand, Bollywood now needed its younger sibling to promote its interests. The Filmy hauteur softened into a humility covered by an invisible wrap of respect. And suddenly, Bollywood had a new found respect for television. Movie stars thronged TV series and reality shows to promote their movies.

All was going well, until a young and vibrant step-son entered the scene, and shook the siblings down to their knees. There was nothing to stop this new rush of force. Using a powerful platform called YouTube, people started to reach millions of other people. This led to the development of a new genre of English comedy that made funny video sketches of movies, movie stars, politicians, political parties, TV shows… the list goes on. Lack of censorship and minimal investment has made online comedy a striking third force in the visual media category. The reach is immense and so is the impact. So much so that on the 28th of January, 2015, Bollywood was “willingly raped” in front of 4,000 live as well as a 5 million-strong online audience of one of the flag bearers of this comic rage, ‘All India Bakchod’ (AIB). A few months back, the other biggie in this mini screen explosive comic camp, ‘The Viral Fever’ (TVF) had insulted A-grade mainstream movie stars like SRK, Ranveer Singh and Parineeti Chopra under the guise of imitating Arnab Goswami and creating an adaptation of his famous show- Frankly Speaking. Though the denigrating and slanderous tone of a TVF’s show, ‘Barely Speaking’, was a surprising visual for its audience, AIB went a step ahead in reviling the movie stars. The show named “AIB- Knockout” literally knocked out the movie stars with them being openly abused, denigrated, defamed and thrashed on a national stage.

This just goes to show the diminishing strength of an erstwhile national power. Bollywood has taken the smart way of being defensive and participative in their own insult so that it may seem as if they are just being a sport, when in reality, there’s nothing much they can do about it. Groups like AIB, TVF, Being Indian and the likes of these are sure things to look out for in the future… Well, at least Bollywood sure needs to!

Ishan Bhasker is currently pursuing his MBA from KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research. Alongside he is associated with the United Nations OCHA (World Humanitarian Summit) as a Digital Advocate. Prior to this, he has worked with international organizations such as Aricent and Moser Baer. His interest lies in Economics, politics, international affairs and business marketing. Other hobbies include playing football, basketball and singing.

Edited by Madhavi Roy

Posted by The Indian Economist | For the Curious Mind