All You Need Is a Little Cringe…

India’s obsession with celebrities is a famously old tale. From film stars to cricketers to TV actors, everyone is worshipped here and there is no limit to this obsession. So much so that psychologists had to create a new term for it! Celebrity Worship Syndrome (CWS), as it is called, is an obsessive-addictive disorder where an individual becomes overly involved and interested (i.e., completely obsessed) with the opinions of a celebrity. Any person who is “in the public eye” can be the object of a person’s obsession.

I personally don’t relate to this celebrity obsession but I can understand when the crowds go crazy for Shah Rukh Khan’s latest movie or Virat Kholi’s performance in a recent match. What I don’t understand, however, is when people go crazy about virtually unknown “celebs”. Even people who barely qualify as being famous are bestowed with the same influential position and status as the top celebrities and it honestly is a scary thought. They receive a massive following and have many people looking up to them and frankly what’s worrying is that we aren’t worried!

 ‘Rakhi Sawant accuses ‘lesbian’ Tanushree Dutta of raping her several times.’

There is no way that you haven’t come across this apparently “breaking news” in the past few weeks. This headline plagued the News channels, was printed about extensively in the newspapers and went on to be talked about on social media. I know that one shouldn’t be too quick to judge and pass it off as something baseless but the above mentioned “celebrity” has had a notorious reputation for passing controversial remarks. What is concerning is that she is allowed to influence the minds of people with her atrocious accusations paired along with her half practised act of crying to talk about such a sensitive issue. Not only does it directly attack the credibility of the #MeToo movement but also attacks the sanity of the viewers! Many people saw through her bluff but there’s still a vast majority of us who couldn’t differentiate. This lead to the spreading of hateful comments against the accused, Tanushree Dutta, and people foolishly coming out in support of Rakhi Sawant.

 But take a closer look, who is the one at fault here?

Is it the person who passes a controversial remark or the starving media who is ready to pounce on the first piece of sensational news that they get? I would say it is the latter. The media is always on a lookout for stories that will bring them fame and recognition. They know that facts won’t bring them the fame so what better than talking about the most sensational news at the time?

A similar case happened when “singer” Dhinchak Pooja had her sudden breakthrough. Her extremely cacophonic song was disliked by so many people that it became the only thing that was talked about. The media houses now had another story to write about! This case didn’t do much harm but it raised an important point. It showed how easy it was to make any random person a public figure and give them a platform to talk about anything to a larger audience. That is a lot of power to give to someone whose intentions you may not even know.

At this point, it is not even the irresponsible behaviour of the news channels, it is their laziness to cover better stories! The media needs to understand its ability to change one’s opinion and become more responsible for the things that they cover. They must remember that they are here to give an unbiased account of the event and not become a propaganda agent for the Celebrity. In this Celebrity obsessed country, that’s the least that they can do to preserve the sanity of the youth.

Article by Radhit Arora.

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