Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bring BQC back!!!

Indian television has not just gone to the dogs; it’s gone to the pigs, buffaloes and rats. You don’t need to be Archimedes to have your Eureka moment; you just need to switch your TV on. Who would have thought that Indian television which procreated brilliant shows like Circus, Malgudi days and Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, would today be ruled by the likes of Rakhi Sawant, a bunch of “youth-centric” shows on channels like MTV (Music Television? Irony or an oxymoron?), UTV Bind(ass) and an anonymous voice which calls itself, the “Big Bosssss”.

It’s not entirely these shows who are to blame. They are giving people what they want to see. These shows wouldn’t run season after season without an audience, so I admit, they are a success but in their own perverted way. So is this all what people want to watch today? No, not all have gone senile and there is a sizeable number of viewers who are fed up with the insipid pabulum Indian shows have on offer today.

Illustration by artist Sagar Arankalle for Bring BQC back
The “Bring BQC (Bournvita Quiz Contest) back” movement is proof of that. (For those of you who aren’t aware, BQC started off as a radio quiz show in 1972 and later went on to become one of India’s most loved and longest running television shows which went off air a few years back). What started off as a casual page on Facebook for quiz lovers, about 3 months back, is a full fledged revolution today, with a whopping 1,40,000 plus members.  These quiz lovers post QnAs everyday and have a blast exercising their grey cells but they just don’t stop with that. They create cool tag lines, badges, banners and post articles to show their solidarity and support to the Bring BQC Back movement. Small but ambitious steps towards their final goal - to get Bournvita Quiz Contest back on air.

Could a Facebook page possibly be able to make a difference? Considering the way the brains behind “Bring BQC back” are going about it, it certainly seems so. They have got in touch with Derek O Brien, the host of BQC, on Twitter and also have had a mention about their movement in the Marathi newspaper, Loksatta. So what’s next? This is what Rahul, an integral part of this movement has to say, “We've met with Mr. Amin Sayani, the 2nd host of the show on Radio and he told us his story of BQC in the early days. He's sort of subscribed to the movement and has even agreed to record for us the 1st question of the day everyday so it kind of interesting”.

 Yet another example of the power of online social networking which has managed to bring so many likeminded people together within no time for a common cause. This is just the beginning of a new form of revolution, one of the many we can expect to see in the years to come. So all you Guevaras and Gandhis out there; drop your guns and walking sticks and pick up your laptops and iPads, as the means of a revolution may be changing forever.

BQC holds a very special place in my heart. For years my family got together on Sunday afternoons to eat chicken and watch BQC and I want to do that all over again. I have pledged my support to the Bring BQC Back movement. Have you?

Join the Bring BQC back movement at

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


People from different races, religions and regions exhibit idiosyncrasies which are peculiar to their group. We Indians, like the others, aren’t short of these peculiarities. In the short span of 22 years, one of the most conspicuous idiosyncrasies that I have noticed is an individual’s absolute aversion to take a lead. In school, when the teacher would ask someone to volunteer to do something, there would be a 10 second pause followed by exchange of glances that said, “You do it. I’ll join you”.

Finally, one of the relatively brave ones would raise their hand. The next second, 20 other hands would have joined him. I have witnessed this similar behaviour in high school, college and today, at work. There are of course exceptions, who have trained themselves to take a lead or are natural leaders. These individuals stand out in the crowd and the others rally around these leaders and support them all out.

1)Follow the leader


For years, India has been topping various lists, good and bad, in countless surveys  and has consistently featured high up in the list of the most corrupt nations in the world. However, what stands out in this list are our competitors. Most of them are extremely poor African and Asian countries, plagued with poverty, illiteracy, lack of infrastructure and have a dictator who has been plundering the nation’s resources and wealth for decades. After all the development and progress, what is India doing in that list? We have been in the “10 seconds” phase where we are looking around to find someone to do something about the situation.

In the last few months, news about corruption reached ridiculous proportions. Every single day there were reports about corrupt officials, corrupt government, corrupt cops, corrupt priests and sometimes, even a corrupt god. Corruption had become an integral part of our daily life (only next to inflation). Then out of nowhere, this Gandhian decided to rise, to give people the hope that the 10 seconds are coming to an end and that they finally have someone to rally around.

Anna Hazare

People from all walks of life came out to support this “Modern Gandhi” and his otherwise unknown Jan Lokpal Bill. Most of them don’t know what this bill does or how will it make the situation better. They have blindly decided to support the one who finally made up his mind to stand up and take charge of the situation. Like in school, college, or work, we have found that leader around whom we have decided to rally. Would this man and his famed bill, which promises to be the panacea to the problem of corruption, be able to make a difference? That is irrelevant now and only time will tell. But for now, let us celebrate that hopefully, at least the 10 seconds have completed. Hopefully! 

Picture courtesy: