Pratham's suicide attempt, his alleged beating up of a friend and his strange behaviour does not seem strange at all in this age of instant celebrities and online fame. Many people mistake their popularity on online social networking sites as real life fame and recognition. While internet creates these virtual celebrities, television has always created the "15 minutes of fame" phenomenon for ages now. For many decades now, people who appear on TV for 15 minutes and talk about it for many years have been termed with the phrase "15 minutes of fame". With the advent of TV shows with many people being able to see themselves on TV and also the advent of Internet social media, there is a heady mix.
Two seasons ago, Huchcha Venkat was all the rage. It was just his two-minute angry speech to a TV channel that created a phenomenon around him. Online fan clubs, songs on him, entry to the Bigg Boss house, song by Yograj Bhat and film offers followed. Two years later he had to beat up Pratham in Bigg Boss again to grab attention. After Huchcha Venkat it was the turn of Gaddappa and Century Gowda. The success of the film Thithi saw that they became the most sought after "celebrities". Apart from films, dozens of people tried to use their popularity.
However, their modesty and innocence somehow saved them. Now it is the turn of Pratham. He is upset that his close friend has revealed "secrets" about him. The friend, Lokesh, has filed a complaint with the police that he was attacked by Pratham and needs protection. Pratham himself is now in hospital after an alleged suicide attempt.
The death of Rajesha, the instant celebrity, a few years ago is still fresh in our minds. The instant celebrities are unable to cope when the focus is not on them. The perceived fame comes from being the obsession for other people. It happens for 100 days on a show like Bigg Boss. But after that, unless the contestant has something concrete going on in their personal lives, find it hard when the limelight moves away from them. They need the arch lights on them all the time. That in part explains the eccentric behaviour of Huchcha Venkat to a large extent and partly to Pratham. Unlike Venkat, Pratham had shown to be shrewd and seemed to have a backhand plan. But his alleged suicide attempt and attack on a friend shows how shallow and brittle the lives of instant celebrities can become. Wishing Pratham a speedy recovery and hope other instant celebrities learn something from people like Rajesha, Venkat and Pratham. If not learning a lesson, they can take the incidents as a warning.
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