Gloss­ing Back­ward­ness?


EVER SINCE it be­gan air­ing in prime­time on a prom­i­nent GEC, Pehredaar Piya Ki has been un­der tremen­dous flak for its ar­chaic sto­ry­line. The show’s plot in­volv­ing a ro­mance and mar­riage be­tween an un­der­age boy and an 18-year-old girl has been called out for its pae­dophilic sub­text. While the mak­ers are try­ing their best to de­fend the show, the pe­ti­tion fo­rums are abuzz with com­plaints to have it ‘off air’. In the wake of such strong op­po­si­tion, the BCC (Broad­cast­ing Con­tent Com­plaints Coun­cil) has asked the chan­nel to move its slot from 8.30 pm to 10.30 pm. The in­de­pen­dent body has also asked the chan­nel to run a ticker pro­claim­ing that the ‘show doesn’t pro­mote child mar­riage’. Here’s what the TV fra­ter­nity has to say about the show…

Shardul Pan­dit

“Of course, the con­tent on tele­vi­sion is re­gres­sive. I have grown up on By­omkesh Bak­shi, Hum Paanch and Mal­gudi Days. But, why blame only the mak­ers?”

Ram­man Handa

“What I feel is that it might be a gim­mick to cre­ate hype. Crit­i­cism is the best way to raise TRPS. What’s wrong in ex­per­i­men­tal sto­ries? Ev­ery in­di­vid­ual has a choice to see what­ever they want to. It’s easy to crit­i­cise a show. It re­quires work to make one.”

Shakti Arora

“I think we are just show­ing done-to-death con­tent. If we see English tele­vi­sion shows, they are rich in con­tent. Their scripts are 20 years ahead of us. We are let­ting down our tele­vi­sion in­dus­try.”

Rashami De­sai

“En­ter­tain­ment is not here to preach any moral­ity. The show has just started and the pro­ducer has the right to ex­per­i­ment. There was a film called Mera Naam Joker in which Simi Gare­wal did a bold scene. Ini­tially, the film wasn’t ac­cepted, but now it is cult.”

Shashank Vyas

“Most of the shows have no qual­ity con­tent, and money seems to be rul­ing the roost. We talk so much about women em­pow­er­ment, but we can’t even see a glimpse of it in our shows. Ac­tors who want to do qual­ity tele­vi­sion have nowhere to go. It’s bet­ter to sit at home than to be a part of such shows.”

Ar­jun Bi­jlani

“This has been go­ing on since a very long time. So many times peo­ple have tried to ex­per­i­ment, but the num­bers that come from the so called TRP sys­tem are very low for such shows. Peo­ple have a choice and a re­mote con­trol at home.”

Mrunal Jain

“If we con­tinue to make shows on such re­gres­sive plots, this will re­flect in so­ci­ety as well. The state of tele­vi­sion has sadly gone from bad to worse. This needs to change.”

Ssharad Mal­ho­traa

“Women fight­ing with other women, chil­dren fall­ing in love with adults, these are the kind of themes we have for our shows to­day. What are we try­ing to sell to the youth and this gen­er­a­tion? Con­tent has to make sense. A child fall­ing in love with an adult is not ac­cept­able to the In­dian au­di­ence. Cer­tain ran­dom shows are bizarrely re­gres­sive.”

And, we saved best for the last…

Te­jaswi Prakash Wayan­gankar, Lead, Pehredaar Piya Ki

“Peo­ple love Game of Thrones and if the same thing hap­pens in Pehredaar Piya Ki, then it’s an is­sue. But again, a lot of peo­ple be­lieve in judg­ing a book by its cover. They love be­ing judg­men­tal and peo­ple have noth­ing bet­ter to do than judg­ing some­body else’s work. Then okay, what can I do?”

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