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Shilpa Shetty's Success: A Publicity Gimmick

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By: Arya Aiyappan
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Shilpa Shetty's whooping victory with 63% votes overriding every other contestant in the Celebrity Big Brother show seems much hazy with a glossy veil over many a sneaky issue. The media is bombarded with news and interviews featuring the glamorous Bollywood star airing her views and cameras waiting to catch a glimpse of the new celebrity in town. The subtle undertones are becoming glaring as we unearth the real action that transpired beneath the whole drama.

Shilpa won the Celebrity Big Brother show, a game show for which she was paid to participate. A lion's share of three crore was the signing amount for participating in the show. Shilpa had joined to enhance the glamour quotient of the show, bringing a romantic angle to the international show. Every game show revolves around the notions of victory and defeat; therefore the hype over Shilpa's victory is a mere publicity stunt. The racial abuse she has endured is deplorable, while the sacrifice and modesty exhibited as Indian virtues and broadminded attitude are warmly welcome too as commendable.

Conversely the media going gaga over her victory by catapulting her to unimaginable heights as a crusader is phony. Unlike any game in the real sense of the term she is actually paid to be a part of the show, therefore the victory is baseless. The victory no longer has the charm of that which is patiently earned to an easily notched up one. A well manipulated move indeed to make a foray into the international arena as well as to be in the limelight reaping many opportunities.

The racial issue grave to the core does need to be tackled with seriousness demanding no loss of time whatsoever. The issue flared up into a controversy involving countries with their repute at stake and top dignitaries Tony Blair, Manmohan Singh and others condemning racism. However the real drama was in store for the spectators fed with news and images of racial abuse episode, when Shilpa's U-turn contradicting every statement of concern for the tormented actress proved futile. She virtually denied having undergone any racial harassment and displaying her fine theatrical skills sympathized with Jade Goody. One would be forced to wonder whether she was the benevolent Mother incarnate when she publicly forgave Jade and even welcomed her to her home in India. Indian hospitality and munificence! Shilpa could have spared her mother of the strain she had to undergo to rush to the rescue of her darling daughter in UK.

The saying "media makes or mars people's fortunes" is true for Jady Goody; it holds good for Shilpa as well. She has acquired the status of an "A-list movie star" overnight by being elevated to great heights. It is crucial to note whether a movie star is rated on the basis of performance in movies or in game shows, hardly requiring any acting prowess. Maybe with the changing times the judging parameter must have gone for a toss.

With everything said and done a bad taste pervades still. Never did she seem so spurious than when she voiced glib remarks "I didn't even know what was going on outside. I mean we don't even have real grass in the Big Brother House. It's all plastic" in her interviews. A celebrity of her stature ought to conduct herself in a dignified manner, than digging her buried love relations in public. Shilpa's comments about her ex-lover Akshay Kumar was nothing but washing her dirty linen in public.

The Celebrity Big Brother has drawn to a close with the Indian heroine Shilpa Shetty walking off with the prize money of a hundred thousand pounds, yet the media is still drawing puffs of smoke from the fire which has already died many deaths!

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