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Mumbai: Content on the Indian small screen is not all that regressive and so, the critics should start watching it with the present and progressive lens, says a top official of channel Zee TV, which has come up with a new show “Yeh Teri Galiyan” set in Sonagachi, Asia’s largest red-light area.
Deepak Rajadhyaksha, the deputy business head of the channel, says considering that television has a wide reach and popularity in small towns where daily soaps are a dominant source of entertainment, it is important to address social issues through fictional shows.
Citing the example of “Ishq Subhan Allah”, he said: “In this show, we are attempting the topic of triple talaq which is a talking point of our society in the current time.
“I remember when we launched ‘Jhansi Ki Rani’ we got to know from the response team that many parents actually allowed their kids to watch TV for that show, because it was educational and an informational story of the queen of Jhansi. That was infotainment,” Rajadhyaksha said.
“The character of Archana in the show ‘Pavitra Rishta’ used to go to night school. That inspired many women in our country to go to the night school to finish the basic education that they could not finish earlier for whatever obstacles. So, we surely know the impact that tv entertainment can create and we take that power responsibly.”
He said the channel’s shows talks about being empathetic towards others and celebrates stories of humanity.
While such portrayal of female characters may be inspiring many TV viewers, supernatural shows like “Naaginn” have led critics to be given the tag of being ‘regressive’, and that is not going away from the Indian television.
“I think critics should start watching TV more and they have to watch it from the present lens. In the last 25 years, Zee TV has changed a lot and critics should also change their mindset on television to find the progressive side of it.
“The philosophy of our channel is to celebrate the spirit of middle-class family, of new India, of people who are constantly trying to write their own destiny instead of depending on luck. We are writing about their future today,” said Rajadhyaksha.
“Yeh Teri Galiyana features Vrushika Mehta (Puchki) and Manish Goplani (Shantanu) in the lead role.
Set in the backdrop of Sonagachi of Kolkata, Puchki’s mother sends her away from the red light area to get a better life. However, Shantanu, who is the childhood sweetheart of Puchki, refuses to accept her because of her background.
Asked about the risk in the experimental story, Rajadhyaksha said: “That way every show comes with the certain risk factor, especially when we are experimenting with the subject. But ultimately we are telling a human story.
“Yes, in the upcoming show the backdrop is different, rather new for Indian television audience, so it is bold but we know how are we going to tell the story. Let’s say, we are confident about our content.”
“Yeh Teri Galiyana is starting from July 25.
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