What does the great gold obsession say about us?

The Punjabification of southern celebrityhood attains new heights—or plumbs new depths—with each passing day. Notions of austerity and simple living and high thinking are passe; flaunt it if you have it is the new mantra as “stars” exploit every ounce of their stardom, or what is left of it, for a few rupees more.

With Deepavali round the corner, it is habba for filmi folk.

Three generations of actors—from left, Bharati VishnuvardhanTara, Jayanthi and Padmaja Rao—pose for the camerasat an antique jewellery mela as part of the Deepavali festival celebrations organised by a jewel firm in Bangalore on Monday. Like, celebrating the festival of lights with anything less is a crime.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: All that glitters is a gold scam about to burst?


The commodification of women portfolio

RamyaOne more example of commodification of women

RamyaAnother example of commodification of women

Anu PrabhakarAnother example of commodification of examinations

RamyaLike, bombers get scared looking at bombshells?

RamyaNow, what will those fools do with these kids?

Aindrita RaySurely all that glitters is more than just gold

Jennifer KotwalThe best ice-candy melts before nice eye-candy

RamyaWhat it takes to smoothen some rough blades of grass

Nicole FariaDenims, diamonds, Miss India and the Mahatma

Priyanka TrivediSee, a brand ambassador always gets good press

RoopashreeObjects in the mirror are closer than they appear

Gul PanagYou are almost tempted to say ‘Intel Inside’

RamyaDon’t ask us what it is, but it sure costs a bomb

Mandira BediIt ain’t so easy to woo an iPhone4 user, sister

Tejaswini Prakash: As if we didn’t have traffic diversions already

Pooja Gandhi: Why Vodafone subscribers experience call drops

Raveena Tandon: From a flower of stones to a stone of flowers

Sameera Reddy: Finally, some ‘commodification’ we are OK with

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15 Responses to “What does the great gold obsession say about us?”

  1. Melanie Says:

    It definitely looks like a vulgar display of wealth! The fallout from these advertisements can be manifold- pressure on poor families especially at the time of the weddings of their daughters, corruption with the greed to possess more…gold, dowry deaths and of course an increase in crime, given the sky-rocketing price of gold!

  2. AG K Twit (@agktwit) Says:

    What exactly do you mean by “Punjabification”? Is it your implication that the Punjabi culture (and by extension its people) is representative of some kind of undesirable exhibition of wealth and pomp, traits of which have now crept into the previously unsullied Southern Indian culture?

  3. Sapna Says:

    Hmmm that’s an interesting point. Gold obsession is a south-Indian craze, isn’t it?

  4. Deepak Says:

    Where is the punjabication here? I don’t think Punjabis flaunt gold. Us Southies have always loved gold and flaunted it. That’s it! Why Punjab enters the picture?

    ……..on second thoughts seems to be a very clever idea of Churumuri to create a North-South divide and a big fight :)

  5. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Unfit women need all the gold they can get their hands on to cover up their ugliness and rolls of fat.

  6. ajamk Says:

    Punjabification?? South Indians have always been the leaders in buying gold compared to the north, with Kerala being the leader. That is why most of the big gold dealers/jewellers are usually from Kerala. I hope more middle class and even lower middle class people go out and buy gold/silver this deepavali. People must keep their savings in real assets like gold/silver as a hedge against inflation. Who wants to keep their savings in paper printed with colour ink and having Gandhiji’s photo on it??(No offence to Gandhiji).

    Why this vilification of Punjabis in this article?? Not every Punjabi is a film star.

  7. chidu22 Says:

    Clarification, it’s not all southereners are obsessed with gold. It’s few communiies ( mostly devotees of Tirupati Timmappa) of andhra and TN who are mental about Gold.It’s like saying all southerners are Madrasis. Karnataka which is mostly clean when it comes to ostentatious culture is slowly being sucked into by the influence of migrants from neighbouring state. Historically karanadu is known for humility, simplicity and coexistence.
    I do agree Punjab is synonimous with garish, in the face and ostentatious culture.

  8. Prasanna Says:

    ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಆಶ್ಚರ್ಯ ಅಂದ್ರೆ ಈಗೀಗ ಯಾರಿಗೂ (ಈ ಫೋಟೋದಲ್ಲಿರೋವ್ರಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಅಲ್ಲ) ಎಷ್ಟೇ ವಯಸ್ಸಾದ್ರೂ ತಲೆ ಕೂದ್ಲು ಮಾತ್ರ ಬೆಳ್ಳಗೇ ಆಗಲ್ಲ… ಕಡುಕಪ್ಪು ಕೇಶರಾಶಿ…

  9. the colonel Says:

    name one punjabi jeweller

  10. Gundaa Says:

    I don’t understand the author, he is able to see only gold because all other assets have been concealed in the picture!! India does not need people like this author and his fellow comrades who are nothing more than wealth distributors

  11. babuds Says:

    Southern commercial entities have turned secular and embraced several “Days” such as Valentines day. Mothers day,,Fathers day, you-name-it day to advance their sales and margins. Tithis, once unheard of this side of Vindhyas, such as Akshaya tritiya, Danteras are imported and publicized that, if you miss buying gold on that day your next ten generations are doomed to a life of abject poverty or something to that effect. Once the photo shoot is over the shop would have snatched all those ornaments from the ladies necks lest they forget and public knows all this kind of stuff anyhow.

  12. chidu22 Says:


    Well said!

  13. kamalesh Says:

    Man gold is medically and scientifically needed and maybe for some ornamental uses.

    Instead they declared it national asset and looted Kolar and left it without drinking water also and exported everything to Buckingham place through Bond Octopussy.
    Around 1000 tonnes went through KGF by Tamils excavating for the British officers and sailors after Odeyar stopped fighting and filled his gold stock of Irwin’s rebult palace.

    But still we should not oppose our own people using it as they are already economical – a bit of happiness – let the nondiro jeevas have a bit.

  14. Suresh Panje Says:

    On reading this piece, I have literally become philosophical (not spiritualist since I have 2 or 3 large ones of spirits at wee hours of the day when I return from work around 2.30, have my dinner and then hit the bed). It pertains to the relevance of gold. Whether gold can satiate our daily hunger. I wish any learned social scientist and economist would answer this poser.

    Yes, the author need not give the tag of Punjabi (although the weddings in north India cross all the possible decibel marks) since those in the south of Vindhyas are no less as for flaunting their wealth vis-a-vis a Punjabi.

    Just imagine the day when the dollar, sterling pound, euros and our own rupee are devalued. And there is a universal declaration that gold has no value! Perhaps all of you may term me as mad but give a thought and let us have a debate on THIS ISSUE.

    This reminds me about one of the Europeans who met a native so-called Red Indians and asked him: HOW MUCH OF YOUR LAND CAN YOU GIVE US? At this the native Mohican is believed to have said: The land belongs to me but we belong to this land.

  15. Cubicle Rat Says:

    hmm, one more article on spending habits of people., oh my gawd, ‘Commodification of women’, Capitalism, Consumerism…

    Celebrities / filmi gang would endorse any product, be it ‘yake cool drink’ to ‘Seagrams’, Toyota to Hyundai, Surf excel to Kent RO, just give me the moolah. Honestly, would you not pose for a camera for a crore rupees ?

    Consumerism blah blah, when wasn’t it ? Have money.., will spend, what is wrong with that.

    Remember before economic liberalization in India, dint you look up to people who had color TV s or premier padmini s?

    For people who have more money than sense, go on burrrrrrrn the cash, be it the IPhone Z or an Audi

    Cubicle dwellers, sit back and enjoy the entertainment.

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