Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sach Ka Saamna- Moment of Truth

Sach Ka Saamna is the latest television show on Indian television that is being talked about a lot for various reasons. This is the show after Kaun Banega Crorepati on Star Plus that has become so popular with the audiences.

Sach Ka Saamna is actually the Indian version of the popular American reality game show The Moment of Truth and Television & film actor Rajeev Khandelwal is the host of the show. I personally too have been following the show and the concept of the show is indeed interesting and Rajeev Khandelwal seems to fit the bill quite beautifully because this kind of show definitely requires some qualities from the host who has to maturely handle the situations keeping his composure as it brings out some of the most intimate truths from the contestants in front of their family, friends and National Television!

Now, about the show itself, Prior to appearing on the actual show, contestants are asked 50 questions while being hooked up to a polygraph machine. The biological indicators of the contestant, such as pulse rate, blood pressure, etc. are measured and used by the polygraph to decide whether the answer is true or not. The contestant is not aware of the results of the polygraph for his or her answers.........


During the actual show, the contestant is asked 21 of the same questions again. If the contestant answers honestly, he or she moves on to the next question; however, should a contestant lie in his or her answer, or simply refuse to answer a question after it has been asked, the game ends and the contestant loses all their prize money.

There are six levels of prize money in the game. The first level consists of six questions, and answering all of them truthfully will win the contestant Rs. 100,000 of prize money. The next level has five questions and the prize money goes up to Rs. 500,000. The third, fourth and fifth levels consist of four, three and two questions respectively, with the prize money being Rs. 1,000,000, Rs. 2,500,000 and Rs. 5,000,000 respectively. The final level has only one question, with the truthful answer fetching the maximum prize money of Rs. 10,000,000 (one crore).
The questions become increasingly personal and potentially embarrassing in nature as the stakes get higher. The contestants are usually accompanied by close family members or friends, who are seated beside them and the host. Several of the questions tend to be related to the relationship between them and their acquaintances present there. Next to the guests is a buzzer, which they can use to override a question which they feel is better left unanswered. In that case, the contestant will be asked an alternate question which may be easier or tougher than the question it replaced. The buzzer can only be used once during the game.

Just the second contestant in this show was actor Yusuf Hussain and he answered quite a few questions and on the question that whether he felt he was a good father, he said yes but the polygraph machine did not agree. Even on the original show- Moment of Truth, I would like to point out to one particular episode and this is what host of the show had to say about that particular episode- "This episode was so controversial, it sparked a long debate as to whether or not to air it at all. It's the most uncomfortable I have ever been on television."

In that episode, Lauren Cleri, 26, took the stage for The Moment of Truth. Her husband a New York police officer was sitting nearby along with her siblings and parents. It all started out with fun and games but as Cleri inched closer to the big money the big bad truth came out and it was far from pleasant.
Her ex-boyfriend came up to throw out some questions. Would she leave her husband for him? Is he the one that she thinks she should be married too? She was saved on one question because someone decided no one would benefit from the answer but the truth to the other was just as bad. Yes she did think she should have been married to him.
And the piece of news about it was- "FOX reality game show sink to new lows as it destroys a marriage, embarrasses a New York police officer and leaves a blonde walking away without a dime."

In an ironic twist of fate Cleri lost all of her 200k winnings when she was asked whether or not she thought she was a good person. She said yes, the machine said “false”. Cleri walked away without a penny and what could only be described as a marriage that was all but over within a short hour of truth-telling.

Now I want to point out the similarity of both these episodes. Both these contestants braved the questions willing to lay bare their life's truths before everyone and were not there only for the money and wanted to go the distance. But when we see the kind of questions they fell too, it is indeed astonishing. In Cricket terms, it's like they survived the beamers and bouncers but got out to full-tosses!

The analysis of this second episode as in one video is as follows.
This woman is a self admitted liar, a thief, a blasphemer and she admits that she committed adultery. But when she said that she was a good person, the lie detector said that she was lying.
How could this be? The answer is that a polygraph machine isn't a lie detector. It's actually detecting the body's reaction to guilt. We get sweaty palms, changes in breathing and increased heart rate when we say something we know isn't true. The Polygraph detected that she felt guilt when she said that she was a good person.

I agree with this and also I would say that initially they ask about all the things that they have done wrong and after that they ask these questions like do you consider yourself a good person or have you been a good father as was the case with both of them. Now because of the previous admissions, there is a bit of a confusion created in their mind and that is what the machine catches. My point is that you are more likely to fall to these type of questions because they don't really have a right or wrong answer. At one point someone may feel he is good and at other he might not. Whereas about questions like Have you done a particular thing say stealing, then the answer is very clearly yes or no. Either you have stolen or you have not. But whether you are a good person, that is so subjective, one might not be sure.

So this isn't completely about truth and false but something else too..Maybe guilt and other feelings and people who want to appear on the show can study these situations and prepare accordingly which I would suggest is admit anything if you have even a small doubt.

And talking of all these, how I wish I would be able to see one person on that show. You want to guess? Well knowing me, it is quite easy. In fact many of you readers must be tired of my habit of bringing in Osho in everything. But he is one person whom I would love to see on this show and if I had to put my bet on one person winning the full amount, it will definitely be him!

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