Viewers of lesser-known comedy show on Zee group’s TV channel, &TV, were left shocked on Thursday night, when the non-fiction programme decided to go jugular against actor Aamir Khan.
A significant chunk of the programme, Life Ka Recharge, was dedicated to mocking the PK star for his comments on the growing religious intolerance in India last year.
The programme, which is meant to provide laughter and ‘tickle your funny bone’ with ‘skits, gags and public opinions,’ clearly left a lot of comedy fans on Thursday night puzzled about its sudden change in remit.
The two main hosts, Vikalp Mehta and Mintoo Sharma, decided to sledge Aamir for his intolerance comments by heaping insults through what appeared to be carefully orchestrated public opinion critical of the actor.
It didn’t make sense as to anchor’s one-sided insulting jibes for Aamir coupled with carefully recorded ‘public opinions’ billed as social media conversations qualified comedy unless the purpose of the channel was to throw its support for the BJP.
The choice of subject and its execution came just days after the Centre’s BJP government was in the dock for their alleged role in carrying out a campaign against Aamir late last year.
This was after the defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, confessed that a team was working to ‘teach’ Aamir a lesson for his criticism of the government.
Later, jantakareporter.com had revealed how the social media team of the BJP had carried out a campaign to downgrade Snapdeal in order to apply pressure on the e-commerce giant to drop Aamir as its brand ambassador.
The topic had dominated the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha a day later.
The sudden change in remit of a supposed comedy show assumes significance in light of Zee Group’s chairman, Subhash Chandra’s election to Rajya Sabha on a BJP ticket.
Zee Group’s news channel, Zee News has already been widely perceived as the mouthpiece of the BJP. Such was the intensity of the social media conversation about the news channel’s biases in favour of the saffron party and the RSS that Chandra was forced to undertake an extraordinary step earlier this year to dispel that notion.
Chandra, while appearing on live TV, had made desperate attempts to deny any links of Zee News channel with the BJP.
This is what &TV states about the programme’s remit for LKR on its website, “The country is under an epidemic and it’s gone VIRAL. It’s not sardi, khaasi, malaria or any other bukhaar… its #SocialMediaKaBukhaar. In times of updating statuses, checking-ins, selfies and tweeting, LKR is a show that centers on Social Media.
“A show that is a mash up of content and conversations from social media laced with humour. Hosted by the multi-talented Vikalp Mehta and Laughter Da Master winner Mintoo Sharma, this satirical comedy is all set to tickle your funny bone with skits, gags, public opinions and unique characters like Chachji, Cellular Bai, Mausa-Mausi that will have you LOLing. So get ready as LKR promises to break the monotony of life and recharge your evenings with a daily dose of comedy from your mobile phones to your TV screens.”
We contacted &TV for its response, but they’ve chosen not to respond. We will carry their reaction as and when we receive them.
You can watch the programme here