Rigged questions the bane yet again of an Amazon press conference

The Dahaad team with Amazon officials and supr-cop, Dr. Meeran Chadha Borwankar. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

Rigged questions, one each at least for everyone on dais, have of late become the bane of satellite channel media promotions, and Amazon Prime Video is dubiously leading some elite OTT platforms in this. The last ZEE5 media meet, in a contrasting example, saw interesting questions with true-blue “freedom of the press”.

At the Dahaad press conference, this futile exercise that is a product of someone’s unhealthily futile imagination, was fully and exasperatingly in view as the anchor grandly stated that “the floor was open for media questions” and yet the queries asked were shortlisted and conveniently read out, so that the media that were told to ask them took the call and went ahead. To show possible genuineness, a couple of team members on stage were asked two questions each, after which the anchor announced the end of the Q and A session!

A colleague sitting next to me, who wanted to ask something, just like me, stated ruefully, “I think they want to avoid any controversial questions!” But in the process, interesting and genuine questions were not given a chance either!

Nowadays, these OTT platforms even keep individual interviews with the cast and crew restricted to limited publications, defeating the very purpose of promotions, even as they invite a huge section of the media to “cover” their trailer launch events and press conferences far and wide!

The well-hyped media meets for Citadel and Jubilee also saw this farcically dubious trend and all we have to do at such press meets is listen to whatever mutual praises are expectedly heaped on each other by the team, especially the Amazon officials, directors, creators and cast.

A pioneering lady cop, Dr. Meeran Chadha Borwankar, was present here to add some distinction to a routine event, and spotlighted the paucity of female police forces. In 1981, when she began her training, she was the only women in a batch of 70, she revealed, and though the current strength is 11 percent women, it is far less, she said, than the men-women ratio in the population. About the only worthwhile inclusion in this meet, but only the anchor asked her questions!

Otherwise, all we got to know afresh were details of Sonakshi Sinha’s feisty cop character, and a general impression that Vijay Varma was playing a creepy role and Gulshan Devaiah’s revelation that onion kachoris were enjoyed in welcome abundance on location! And Sohum Shah’s talent in a different role for him was lauded by all.

So dear Amazon, next time, please subscribe to the “freedom of the press”. And if someone does ask inconvenient, controversial or unpleasant questions, exercise your democratic freedom (anyway practised by celebs) not to answer them. And yes, some handpicked favorites among publications and websites are not the only ones worthy of being invited for cast and crew interactions. Just as individual doctors make the reputation of a hospital and not vice-versa, the human journalist makes an organization—and not vice-versa.





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