The gun's still smokin'

by Anna Munhin Feb 5, 2023 News
The gun

Tyburn, the site of the notorious gallows, has been used to watch executions for hundreds of years. There were makeshift galleries for the spectators to watch the hanging.

Today's obsession with crime drama, crime fiction, podcasts and true crime shows may not be the same as watching public hangings live, but the primal emotions, fears and longings are all the same.

There are a lot of true crime shows on OTT.

The user penetration in the OTT video segment is expected to reach 53 per cent by the end of the century according to Statista. It shows that every day, Gen-Zers and millennials binge-watch content on OTT for over four hours. The Pandemic may have made people want to watch more binge-watching. Crime shows lend themselves to binge-watching.

Indian cinema has always had crime-based themes. We had a hero and a villain in the cinema of the 80s and 90s and there were fight scenes. There was no room for niche films. The docu space was given the option to enter. True crime is an easy way to explore the format of the documentary.

It is not a new genre for Indians to watch crime shows on TV. The late 90s and early 2000s saw a number of true-crime based shows on cable.

There will be more crime books in the future.

As a huge fan of the crime genre, Namrata, Editor, Kitaab International, a publishing platform and founder of Keemiya Creatives observes that there is no longer a taboo associated with people who enjoy the genre.

The explosion of true crime and crime based entertainment on OTT has made an impact on crime-based book publishing. Four authors are being commissioned to write in this genre. These titles will flood the markets in huge numbers, even if 2022-23 releases don't show this jump.

There has been an increase in crime-based submissions. In the last year and a half, she has worked on close to eight titles.

Listen, listen!

The podcasts has lent itself to crime-based content. The true-crime-based podcast, Serial, was a game-changer of sorts for both the genre and the industry as a whole. Over 300 million downloads were seen in the first season of the show.

India has the third-largest audience for podcasts after the US and China, according to a study by the global entertainment and media outlook. The report states that the base is expected to reach 17 million by this year.

During the first year of the Pandemic, the Desi Crime Podcast was started by Aryaan Misra and Aishwarya Singh, both in their early 20's. The stories of honour killings, gender violence and other social concerns are the focus of the podcasts. "CID was watched by boomers, John Grisham was read by the younger generation, and now, The Desi Crime Podcast is there for Gen Z."

The appetite for crime shows and literature translate into a lot of discussions. r/TrueCrimeDiscussion and r/Unsolvedmurders are both on the news and discussion forum. Members discuss the latest shows, the ethics of true crime shows, and often try their hand at sleuthing.

Naman Jain is a private investigator and the Managing Director of Sleuths India. There are a lot of shows that cater to true crime.

The appetite for crime-based content has gone up. There are cases where perpetrators are inspired by fiction. About 200 cases a month are seen by Naman's agency, but only a small percentage of them are inspired by movies or crime fiction.

According to reports, he confessed that he was inspired by the American crime drama Dexter, in which the eponymous killer disposes of victims' corpses by dismembering them. Some of us who watch these shows don't do terrible things. These shows can give us a sense of control over the consequences of committing a crime if we already have a tendency to commit crimes. If that's what one is aiming for, then the sense of achievement, release and power is what you're looking for.

She notes that the shows can add to the fear that a person without criminal instincts can engage in terrible acts of crime. The psychologist says that the knowledge of how criminals work can help prevent us from becoming victims of our own.

Naman Jain is a private investigator. A sense of relief and satisfaction can be felt by viewers when justice is delivered and a killer is captured. They gain access to the plan to commit a crime.

Is there a valley of grey?

While true crime-based content is grabbing eyeballs, making us binge-watch and read frenetically, what about the ethics surrounding it, for instance, taking care not to glamorize the perpetrators and ensure the victim is portrayed sensitively?

The director of the film said that they made sure to be sensitive in their approach to the victims. We talked to the victims or their families in two different ways. We contacted them directly and asked if they were interested in talking to us. We wrote letters to them explaining the intent of the show. It would be dropped if they refused. There is a poignant moment in the show where the son of one of the victims remembers his trauma as he saw the killer who had just murdered his mother on the way out. The son was willing to talk about his traumatic experience if the makers did not show his face. They made sure to listen to the request.

The team was aware of how the case was sensationalized in the late 90s. The nature of the crime was delicate, and we knew we would inadvertently stray down the same path. We wanted to make the show fact-driven.

True crime shows are not just meant to entertain. Sometimes victims' families hope for shows like this to help them in their fight for justice or just give them some sort of catharsis. An episode of The Desi Crime was about the murder of a 19-year-old Swedish woman. The victim's family member shared the details of the show. This was the time when we realized the importance of continuing our podcasts with a focus on facts and sensitivities.

We like crime-based content.

Dr.Meghana says that we are curious. True crime shows us a side of humans that most of us don't want to see, and neither do most of us want to engage in activities that look like theirs. This causes us to consume more media that gives us a perspective that otherwise we wouldn't see.

The fact that we are far away from actually being the victim and that we are understanding some thoughts of the perpetrators gives us a feeling of control.

Ian Rankin wrote in an Edinburgh Review issue that the crime novel is attractive partly because it entertains and partly because it deals with some of the ugliest aspects of human nature.

Check out the crime shows.

This is the show that spawned several clones and is hosted by Sarah Koenig.

Host Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark tell each other their favorite murder stories.

Aditi and Sneha have written a book called The Crimes of India.

Death, lies and Cyanide is narrated and produced by Sashi Kumar and covers six murders of a family in a state.

A true-crime show hosted by an Australian solved several cold criminal cases.

The story of mysterious disappearances in the Parvati Valley is the subject of Vanished.

The rest of the podcasts are on streaming services.

Page 2

When you were a child, the family elder would not allow you to finish your meal without a bowl of yogurt. The connection between the heart and the mind is an old belief, but a similar connection between the gut and the brain is emerging.

The popular adages, "gut instinct" and "gut-wrenching" are not just aphorisms but have a two way connection between the gut and the brain. Trillions of microbes communicate with each other and with the brain to maintain the health of our body.

The nerves that connect the brain and the gut are part of the gut brain axis. The gut-brain two-way communication system is dependent on the gut-brain two-way communication system for its function. The change in the gut microbes is influenced by the amount of food eaten. According to a study, Europeans have a different diet than other ethnic groups.

Irritable bowel syndromes and Clostridium difficile infections are more common in the western population than in the indian population.

Western-style diet, which has more saturated fats with low amounts of fibre, has been associated with a number of diseases. The altered gut microbial composition is a result of such a diet. In India, there are no strict regulations for antibiotic usage, which has led to an increase in the use of antibiotics. There are many reasons why the gut microbes have been damaged. It's more difficult to get rid of the bugs from the gut. The US FDA has recently approved the use of donor faecal samples which are screened for potential infections to be used as implant in those who suffer from this disease.

Good microbes from the gut were lost due to the recent Covid-19Pandemic. The medical community witnessed life threatening infections during the Pandemic times due to the disruption of the gut microbes from the Covid virus and other infections.

The research is looking at the role of prebiotics in changing the gut flora. The manipulation of gut microbes has been used to address neurological disorders.

The Indian health system has a heavy emphasis on the diet in addressing health and diseases.

The use of yogurt and other products with yogurt and other fermented ingredients in the Indian diet has been shown to be beneficial for the health of the gut and the mind.

The author is a consultant haemato-oncologist with a special interest in stem cells.