Dailybhaskar.com | Last Modified - Jul 23, 2012, 03:32 PM IST
New Delhi: Oprah Winfrey was at her snobbish best as revealed in a television show aired on TLC on 22 July. The ill picturized and badly scripted show, Oprah’s Next Chapter: India on TLC, portrays India in poor light.
In the program Oprah Winfrey paid visit to a small family living in the slum areas of Mumbai. Next, she meets an upper middle class family where four generations live happily under one roof. Oprah joins them for her first traditional multicourse Indian meal.
The two part series was aired on Discovery channel on 20th and 21st of July, and a special screening was done on Sunday 22 July 2012.
In a typical American snooty style the talk show queen tried to portray superficial ‘sob story’. Oprah was anything but a good guest when she went around the small 10 by 10 feet house interrogating the family members about their ‘poor’ living style and ‘miserly’ living.
The small family of five, stunned by the arrival of an unexpected guest were the most gracious host. On the contrary, the American guest left no stone unturned in mocking the family.
She asked the otherwise happy children how they could live in such a “tiny” room and actually wanted to know, “Don’t you feel it’s too cramped?” She also asked the six-year-olds whether they were happy.
She then interrogated the father about whether he was happy and satisfied. He got teary-eyed and said that he wished he could earn more and provide for a more comfortable life for his children. After making him weep in front of his family, Oprah said that she knows how awful it is for children to see their father weep.
She did look for a shower head in the toilet and seem amazed to hear they bathed with a bucket. And she marvelled at how all their clothes fit onto a small shelf.
She pointedly avoided any mention of the massive LCD TV which adorned their wall. That would have killed the sob story. When their older daughter told Oprah that she’d like to go to London to study further, Oprah also played her role as American ambassador to the hilt and said, “No. Come to America, it’s a lovely country. It’s the best”.
This was latest in a series of attempts made by west to show India as a poor misery ridden mystic land.
Next, Oprah Winfrey, ‘the Queen of talk shows’, immediately proceeded to the home of one of Bombay’s richie-rich families. And then displayed her haughty self there as well.
The joint family which was dressed in full Indian regalia served her a meal on silver thalis and katoris. She looked at the food and then made her best statement of the entire episode – “So I hear some people in India STILL eat with their hands”.
The second episode will have her visit Taj Mahal – as she and every foreigner must.
Perhaps Oprah Winfrey did not realized a basic fact, we take pride in hosting our guests. Had she, she would not have been such a poor guest.