Suitability saga - EasternEye

Suitability saga


Vikram Seth, Ishaan Khatter, Mira Nair, Tabu, Tanya and Andrew Davies (Photo: Aradhana Seth/BBC/Lookout Point).
Vikram Seth, Ishaan Khatter, Mira Nair, Tabu, Tanya and Andrew Davies (Photo: Aradhana Seth/BBC/Lookout Point).

By Amit Roy



BBC TV’s adaptation of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy marked a landmark.

Published in 1993, it took the BBC 27 years to bring the novel to the screen – never before has any UK broadcaster taken so much of a risk with a drama in which there were no white characters.

Granada TV’s The Jew­el in the Crown in 1984 was also set in India and proved a huge success. But based on Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet novels, that was more about the lives of the British as the cur­tain fell on the empire.



The BBC’s next big of­fering, to begin on New Year’s Day, is The Ser­pent, about the serial kill­er Charles Sobhraj.

While Mrs Rupa Mehra sought a suitable boy for her 19-year-old daughter, Lata, in Seth’s novel, the British tabloids have come round to the opinion that the erstwhile American actress Meghan Markle is not a suitable girl for the royal family.

It is ironic that objec­tions have been raised to The Crown on Netflix on the grounds that it is not historically accurate.



But accuracy has not always been an essential requirement for royal re­porting. Journalists are under pressure to pro­duce “exclusives” and not worry unduly about ac­curacy. Indeed, the com­ing and goings of the roy­al family are dealt with as though they are charac­ters in a soap opera – like EastEnders or Coronation Street – but with nicer clothes and bigger houses.

It is this seductive mix­ture of fact and fiction which helps to sell news­papers. By and by, it would be entirely appro­priate if Meghan were to play herself in a future series of The Crown.

I speak as someone who got some royal stories wrong. Though I once travelled with the royal couple, I did not believe there was anything amiss in Prince Charles’s first marriage, when it had more or less fallen apart. Perhaps it was wishful thinking on my part.





Adblocker detected! Please consider reading this notice.

We've detected that you are using an Adblocker which is preventing the page from fully loading.

We don't have any banner, Flash, animation, obnoxious sound, or popup ad. We do not implement these annoying types of ads!

We depend on the revenues generated to operate the site, and continue to bring you great news content

Please add www.easterneye.biz to your ad blocking whitelist or disable your adblocking software.

×