Actor, director and TV anchor Lakshmy Ramakrishnan was asked to appear in court as a witness to a murder case on Friday.
In 2014, a woman named Baby Kala had confessed to abetting the murder of her husband by her lover on Lakshmy's reality TV show "Solvathellam Unmai" which airs on Zee Tamil. The murder, which happened in 2010, was unravelled over the course of the show in April. Following this, Baby Kala and her lover, Gowrishankar, were arrested by the police.
Since the confession was made on Lakshmy's programme, she was asked to appear in court as a witness.
Speaking to The News Minute, Lakshmy Ramakrishnan says that while people are quick to criticise her show, they do not see the good that's happening because of it.
She points out that this particular case wasn't the first time when her programme had helped solve a murder - previously, a young woman had come on the show, accusing her father of committing three murders and burying the bodies in their compound. The bodies were later recovered by the police. The murder of a school headmaster too was revealed after confessions were made about it on the programme.
Recently, Lakshmy and RJ Balaji had a public spat over the show. Balaji was part of the Tamil film "Kadavul Irukaan Kumaru", a scene from which elaborately parodied "Solvathellam Unmai".
Lakshmy was upset that "Solvathellam Unmai" was portrayed in poor light and put up a series of tweets about the same, addressing her points to RJ Balaji. While Balaji did not respond on Twitter, he gave an interview to Fully Filmy in which he said that if people enjoyed the comedy scene, it's because they thought what was being shown was true. He added that Lakshmy should introspect if she should continue doing a show like this.
Lakshmy says she doesn't understand the criticism about the confessions made on the show: "The police never asked me why did she come on the show? Why did she confess to you etc. The judge also didn't ask me. They asked me what happened and what did the woman say. But it's the press which asks me - are you the police or the court to do this?"
Lakshmy also points out that the job comes with a certain responsibility: "Everyone appreciated me for taking the time off and going to the court. Many a time, when there's a legal issue, anchors will say that they don't want to be involved. But my channel appreciated me for not backing out."
The prime accusation made against shows that are of this format is that they're sensational and deliberately high on drama in order to increase TRPs. While Lakshmy acknowledges that the commercial success of the show is necessary for it to be on air, she strongly asserts that she and her team function in an ethical manner.
And are the people who criticise her show more ethical, she counters. She says that people in the film industry who promote misogyny and other regressive ideas for the sake of commerce have no business commenting on her show when they're willing to include anything and everything to sell their films."People who have no social responsibility at all shouldn't be talking about my show," Lakshmy says.
Lakshmy has done close to 1000 episodes of "Solvathellam Unmaiâ€ť and feels itâ€™s unfair to say that she doesn't have the experience required to counsel others or to club her programme with other similar shows.