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    Mar 2008


    Arrow I can't bear their trauma now

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    I can't bear their trauma now
    By Subhash K Jha

    Reality shows, specially the singing contests, have turned a corner. What with the little kids on Voice Of India (VOI) emerging as undisputed crooning marvels.

    One contestant Aishwarya who's all of 14 already has offers to sing for leading ladies in Bollywood twice her age!

    But judge Pritam Chakraborty is a traumatized man. He can't bear to see the agony and suffering of the little children when they're eliminated from the show.

    "It's very very unfair to subject such talented children to this kind of rejection at this tender age. The scar of rejection will remain with them. I should know.

    I suffer from a serious speech deficiency that was brought on by a trauma suffered in childhood. So I empathize with them. I can't bear their trauma any more."

    Last month Pritam became a father after a harrowing child-birth procedure for his wife.

    "I now realize more than ever how precious children and their lives are. We need to nurture them very carefully," says Pritam who has nicknamed his new-born son Salsa.

    In fact earlier this week Pritam walked out of the VOI sets sobbing when a girl Sonia was inconsolable after being eliminated from the contest.

    "You can't do this to such little children! This is not a reality show for grownups. These kids don't understand TRPs. In fact when two of them are asked to fight on the show they turn around to ask, 'Why should we fight?

    We like each other!' I feel we should stop the system of elimination. Instead of 4 winners and 1 loser why can't we have 5 winners?

    They're all equally good anyway! Why demoralize them because of some SMS poll that depends on so many vagaries?"

    While completely empathisizing with Pritam the show's producer-director Gajendra Singh feels the kids are being emotionally strengthened by the stiff competition they encounter on the show.

    "Far from scarring them, the competitive spirit on Voice Of India is teaching them how to cope with the competition outside, including school where they're subjected to the fiercest competition possible.

    In comparison to what they've to face outside, our show offers them a chance to realize their potential early in life.

    In fact one of our contestants 14-year old Aishwarya already has an offer to sing for Kareena Kapoor in the sequel to Gol Maal."



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