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6-min read

Abused, No Water or Toilet: Harrowing Account of a Man Who Wanted to be 'Indian Idol'

Nishant Kaushik, who auditioned for the popular singing reality show 6 years ago, alleges how the aspiring singers were ill-treated and abused by the crew during the auditions.


Updated:August 23, 2018, 12:56 PM IST
Abused, No Water or Toilet: Harrowing Account of a Man Who Wanted to be 'Indian Idol'
Image credits: News18 / Hindi

On the surface, what makes any reality show an intriguing watch is the participants. With their humble backgrounds, they are ready to brave it all to showcase their talents on national television.

The glitz and the glamour surrounding the show gets the audiences hooked for months and they push buttons on their cell phones to save their favourite contestants from getting eliminated.

What reality shows also bring is unending queues of thousands of aspirants and the ill-treatment that happen on the venues that don't meet the eye of the viewer.

A Twitter user who goes by the handle @nofreecopies sheds light on his traumatic auditioning experience at the Indian Idol 2012 edition and narrates how the show is a "perfect platform to destroy your dreams as opposed to its common perception as a breeding ground for talent."

In a long Twitter thread, Nishant Kaushik, who auditioned for the popular singing reality show 6 years ago, alleges how in the long hours of waiting in the queues, the aspiring singers were allegedly ill-treated and abused during the course of auditions.

While the queues are a part and parcel of every reality show that has ever existed, Kaushik alleges how there were no accessible toilets or food stalls or drinking water taps for contestants as they waited for their turns.

Kaushik, in his Twitter thread, also narrates about a volunteer who was promised an 'early audition' if he grabbed the then previous year's winner Shriram's feet mid-performance and shouted: "I wanna be Indian Idol!"

But after several failed takes and attempts when the volunteer insisted that he couldn't do it anymore, he was abused and threatened by the assistants on sets, alleges Kaushik.

But he wasn't the only one who was abused during the audition.

Kaushik then goes on to talk about the 'random selection' of contestants waiting in the queue by the crew in the judge's absence. There were giggles and the naive singers who 'sang horribly' were directed to the only room that had a camera inside it. But it didn't stop there. They were mocked by the actual judges, adds Kaushik.

And surprisingly, when Kaushik crashed out of the round 3, he was rather relieved.

Summarising his entire experience, Kaushik writes, "My summarized observation of Indian Idol was that it decorates and recognizes maybe 10 or less, very worthy participants annually. But en route it quashes a million people's hearts by disrespecting them, ridiculing and abusing them, denying them a conducive atmosphere to contest."

"Not to mention the labourers who were hired to install and then disassemble the equipment at the venue. I don't even have the heart to mention how we were witness to the abuses they were being subjected to by the present staff."

"True talent is rare. But every aspiring artist's pride stems from the encouragement it gets from its colleagues and friends and mohallawallahs and family. In those little nooks and crannies, each of them is a "star". Reality shows have no right to disrespect that. "

These are some of the few excerpts from Kaushik's Twitter feed. To read the entire thread, click here.

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