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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sushil Kumar Wins 5 Crore – the final Q and the event as it unfolded !!

Bihar is one of the poorer states of India.  East Champaran is one of its administrative districts.  The name owes its origin to Champa-aranya or Champkatanys. Champa or Champaka means Magnolia and  aranya means forest. It is popularly believed that the nomenclature was made while the forest was inhabited by solitary ascetics.  The language of Bhojpuri is spoke here.  Reportedly this language is also spoken in Guyana, Suriname, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago and Mauritius.

There is a saying that ‘often simple persons achieve bigger things’ – Sushil Kumar looked another ordinary person, whom you might meet on a local train in North India.  He looked simple, naïve and innocent writ large on his face…….. today, he has accomplished a Great Dream and perhaps made millions dream.  A good Quiz question should enthuse all viewers, make them think that they might know the answer, should be teasingly probing and yet should be answerable with scope for silly mistakes….. not all the Q in KBC might fall under this definition – but the one discussed here was indeed probing.

The program’s TRC rating sure has increased by leaps & bounds and many more would now be vying to compete and dream of winning a bounty.  He has made Quizzing more popular.  Kaun Banega Crorepathi has been on air for many years now – still not many of us, especially in Tamil Nadu are habituated to watching Sony Entertainment.  Amitabh Bachchan hosts this show gracefully. 
 photo from
Yesterday,(on 2nd Nov 2011)  the recording of the episode in which Sushil Kumar won the coveted 5 Crores was shown on TV – and it was indeed a thriller.  The winner,  Sushil Kumar is a computer operator and tutor who earns Rs.6000/- per month [a salary assuming the same hypothetically would get him 36 lakhs in 50 years]  He is  27-year-old,  married and lives in a big joint family with five brothers, five nieces and a nephew in a small village near East Champaran district, Bihar.

I cannot say whether it was naivity or fearlessness that he displayed when the Screen in front displayed the 13th Q which would fetch him 5  Crores – Rs.5,00,00,000/-  - yes 5 followed by 7 zeroes !!!!!!  Amitabh himself towards the end said, he had never signed such a big amount in his life …

The Q  :  Which Colonial Power ended its involvement in India by Selling the rights of the Nicobar Islands to the British on October16, 1868 ?
map from

And the four options were : 

A. Belgium
B. Italy
C. Denmark
D. France

One might jump – ‘I know the answer’ – certainly not when you are on the hotseat and not when a wrong answer might rob of crore of rupee and make you return with a measly lakhs of rupees..  Prudent men might not venture risk, if the loss is colossal………. – but only those who risk succeed !!!

Geographically “Nicobar islands” are situated in the South-east of the Bay of Bengal between 6 degree – 10 degree N latitude and between 92 degree- 94 degree E longitude. There are altogether 22 large and small islands, out of which only twelve have inhabitants.  The most northerly island of the group is Car Nicobar, which is 143 miles from Port Blair.  There are many  uninhabited islands in the central and southern group  such as  Batti Malv, Tileangchong and Meroe , Trak, Treis, Menchal and Kabra respectively. The Nicobars stretch over 36 miles, with an aggregate of 635 sq. miles.

Lying in the sea route from South India to Sri Lanka – early voyagers referred it as ‘land of nake’ – nakkavar, which perhaps gave it the current name ‘Nicobar’.    Lord Ram, the hero of epic ‘Ramayana’ is meant to have passed through the Islands during his period of exile.  An inscription dated (1059 AD) of the Chola King of Tanjore indicates that these islands were used as base shelter station for waging war and keeping control over South East Asia. The geographical names for the different islands have all obscure, complicated and interesting histories, whereas, each island has a native name too……….  If this is not enough, Nicobar is known together with Andaman and called ‘The Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ – as a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal and a Union Territory of India.  Andaman and Nicobar are two distinctly separate island groups.  The population of the territory is 379944 and the total area is approx 6,496 km2 (2,508 sq mi).  some are uninhabited and some like Pulo Milo or Pillomilo  have very less [150 inhabitants)

With such a long and complicated line of details, one should shiver to tell the answer choosing between  :  Belgium /  Italy /  Denmark / France.  Some have the habit of talking to themselves and talking loud – again simpletons do !!  "Italy kabhi aaya nahi... France itne jaldee gaya nahi," (Italy never invaded, France didn't leave so early), mutted Sushil when the whole Nation (even knowing that he had won waited with bated breathe to see how and what did he answer !)

The present version has 4 lifelines : Audience Poll, Phone a Friend,  Ask an Expert and Double dip and it was not by chance that he had 2 left for this one last Q.   He went for ‘Phone a Friend’ – 30 jumpy seconds within which the participant has to explain the Q and get an answer.  He called one from Delhi and with respect in his tone started explaining the Q.  As it happens, most friends do not understand the gravity and by the time, he asked for sort of repeat the Q, 4 seconds barely were left and this helpline soon vanished into thin air.

Without exhibiting fear, he asked for permission to drink some water… then as the clock ticked, he expressed his option for the next lifeline – Double dip.  Now he can hit twice and first answer if wrong, would not harm his chances but would provide another opportunity.  He now uttered  Denmark”.  We were more tensed !

On Screen, the host tall Bachchan got up of his seat, walked towards Sushil  clasped him tightly – announcing that he had indeed won !! – everyone out there viewing the game live – his wife, his brother and all others were relieved and were so happy – perhaps it pleased the Sponsors and the vast multitude of those watching the show.   Sushil went on to explain that KBC has a balance mix of Qs on Current affairs and GK and that he had prepared well… still when it was a Q for Rs. 5 crores – one starts doubting oneself !!

The colonisation of the Nation was not East India Company alone.  It was the history of colonization by many European Countries.  Historically, the  organized European colonization on the islands began with the Danish East India Company in 1754/56 when they were administrated under the name of Frederiksøerne from Tranquebar (in continental Danish India); missionaries from the Moravian Church Brethren's settlement in Tranquebar attempted a settlement on Nancowry and died in great numbers from disease; the islands were repeatedly abandoned due to outbreaks of malaria: Between 1778 and 1783, Austria attempted to establish a colony on the islands on the mistaken assumption that Denmark had abandoned its claims to the islands.   Danish involvement ended formally on 16 October 1868 when the Danish rights to the Nicobar Islands were sold to Britain,] which made them part of British India by 1869 when the British took possession.  The islands were occupied by Japan between 1942 and 1945. Together with the Andaman Islands, they became a union territory of India in 1950.

The 26th Dec 2004 Tsunami affected the island in a big way killing many and damaging many of the islands.  This place has been battered  by many earthquakes also.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


  1. thanks for all the info.

    as you had rightly pointed out, we never watched SONY (we get to see these channels only if there's a LIVE cricket match). thanks for the info on nicobar too...i never knew that Danes had gone that far....

    Rajaram, Muscat

  2. Good one Sampath.. So much of news on Nicobar - Satish

  3. As rightly put, thought Questions might look simple, the chances of answering them correctly when in tension,,,,,,,, is too much to be imagined - one would know the value only when you can attach a loss value to that - Ramesh