In its drive to reinvent itself and produce India-centric programmes, National Geographic Channel is coming out with a new series called ‘It Happens Only In India’. The 12-part series starting September 18, will showcase the unique aspects of India with a programme mix covering mystery, adventure, wildlife, technology and the rich heritage of this country.
Beginning with a feature on the man-eating tigers of the Sunderbans, the series will also cover the tale of real heroes of Bollywood, and the chilling practice of witch-hunting in the tribal belts of India.
“The new series is about a journey around this vast country, offering insights on various regions and diverse cultures. There is a hidden world out there waiting to be unravelled, and the National Geographic channel strives to bring to its viewers a new understanding of the India we live in,” said Dilshad Master, Senior VP, Content and Communication.
Perhaps the most interesting is the episode on ‘Great Indian Witch Hunt’, which goes deep into the socio-cultural matrix of the growing incidents of witch-hunting in tribal belts of India. The episode focuses on a chilling real life incident in Jharkhand, where a man beheaded a girl, assuming her to be a witch, and marched to the police station with her severed head.
Sohaila Kapur, the anchor of the programme and playwrite as well as the author of ‘Witchcraft in Western India’ roamed all over Jharkhand to unearth facts, superstitions and myths surroundings witchcraft in the state. ‘Great Indian Witch Hunt’ had won the Best NSC film award this year out of the 360 films produced every year by the channel.
Maintaining that Nat Geo’s programme was different from the ‘reality shows’ on news channels, Dilshad told exchange4media, “The news channels cannot give the insight and the perspective we add to any programme we produce. They will only touch the cream of the problem.”
Elaborating on the forthcoming programmes on Nat Geo, Dilshad said, “Our next focus will be on Mission Udaan, which will be on air from November 20. From January 2006, we will be coming out with a series of programmes on terrorism, including insightful reports on the 9/11 and 7/7 incidents. We will carry on with our India focussed programming as well and compel our viewers to ‘Think Again’ the way they see their world.”