NEW DELHI — Scripted and staged fights between participants are synonymous with reality shows. But now, best-selling author Chetan Bhagat, who is judging the latest season of the dance-based reality show 'Nach Baliye 7', is on a quest to find out the truth for himself.
Bhagat, who is sharing the judges' panel with choreographer Marzi Pestonji and actress Preity Zinta, plans to dig out the truth by "quizzing the participating couples and cross-examining them".
"I was skeptical of reality shows, and I informed Ekta (Kapoor, producer of the TV show) about it. She said, 'Go and find out whether it is real or not'. So, I will make sure that all those doubts are cleared. I will also make sure it is real," Bhagat told IANS.
But Bhagat's apparent moralizing on the show, berating a couple for not informing their parents about their relationship, and his hectoring style hasn't gone down well with critics and viewers.
"For what reason is India supposed to take author and former banker Chetan Bhagat seriously as an authority on dance?" Rajyasree Sen wrote on Firstpost.
"He gave another speech on how just because you’re living with someone or are engaged, it doesn’t qualify as love. That happens when you go through the stress of getting your kids into school and buying groceries. Take that, all ye writers and poets who have waxed eloquently on the undefinable wonder of love.
This is the kind of drivel that even Bhagat looked vaguely ashamed to be spouting. It’s not funny, it’s not amusing, it’s not enlightening, and it’s got nothing to do with dancing. Nach Baliye is bad enough without throwing moralising into the mix."
The popular author's TV debut is being panned on social media as well.
Bhagat is the author of several bestselling novels, including 'Five Point Someone', 'The 3 Mistakes of My Life', and '2 States: The Story Of My Marriage', some of which have been adapted into Bollywood movies.