Top-rated BBC quiz show in India uses Baha'i temple as backdrop
NEW DELHI — "Mastermind India," a top-rated quiz program produced by the BBC, held its first show of the 2002-03 season at the Baha'i House of Worship.
In a broadcast presented on 8 August 2002 and seen by an estimated 200 million viewers in some 35 countries, the New Delhi House of Worship was the featured backdrop for the season premiere "Champion of Champions" show. The episode brought together four quiz champions from the last four seasons and kicked off the fifth year for the top-rated series, which is available in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
The program regularly features historic sites throughout India, such as palaces or forts, for its backdrop, but this was among the few times in the five year history of "Mastermind India" that a site with major religious significance was used, said Naznene Rowhani, the Baha'i community of India's liaison with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for the production.
"What made the program memorable was the in-depth introduction to the Baha'i Faith and the beautiful, sweeping shots of the House of Worship that accompanied it," said Ms. Rowhani. "Great care had been taken by the producers to portray the details accurately and there was even a glimpse of a copy of the Kitab-i-Aqdas shown." The Kitab-i-Aqdas is among the most important volumes of Baha'u'llah's writings.
"In addition, the softly illuminated House of Worship was constantly displayed as it formed the backdrop to the contestants, looking almost as if it was painted into the scene," Ms. Rowhani said.
Completed in 1986, the House of Worship has won numerous architectural awards for its distinctive nine-sided "lotus petal" design, and has become one of the most visited sites in India, drawing more than four million visitors each year.