Pehredaar Piya Ki actor Tejasswi Prakash: Watch the show before you start criticising it
As the online petition to ban the TV serial gains momentum, with a response from I&B minister Smriti Irani, the serial’s female lead Tejasswi Prakash says, ‘I’d really want to meet these kids who want to marry an 18-year-old girl.’tv Updated: Aug 12, 2017 14:47 IST
Even as the TV show Pehredaar Piya Ki gets into murkier waters — an online petition to ban the show has reached the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, and minister Smriti Irani has responded — the show’s female lead, Tejasswi Prakash, says that she isn’t affected by the criticism directed at the show.
“Do I sound like I’m affected one bit? I’m somebody who is always going to be proud of my actions and stand by [the decisions] forever,” says Tejasswi, who plays the role of Diya on the show. Speaking exclusively to Hindustan Times, she says, “I don’t get attached to negativity, so there’s no question of detaching myself from it.”
In the story, a nine-year-old prince is married to a princess twice his age; she is the ‘pehredaar’ and he is the ‘piya’ and they’re married because of a certain tradition after the boy loses his parents. Viewers’ anger has been aroused by the way the boy is shown as being infatuated by an adult woman, and the references to suhaag raat (wedding night) and honeymoon, which is considered weird beyond the limit of acceptance.
As per reports, Irani has written to the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council, asking that the matter be looked into and action be taken on a priority basis.
While the show producers are silent on the entire controversy, Tejasswi says that the protests against the show are coming from people who haven’t even watched the show. Referring to the petition, which states that audiences don’t want “kids to get influenced”, Tejasswi retorts, “I’m not worried about the outcome of such petitions. And what influence? I’d really want to meet these kids who want to marry an 18-year-old girl.” She adds with a touch of sarcasm, “I’ll ensure personally that it doesn’t happen, don’t worry about it.”
Tejasswi points out that nobody is being forced to watch Pehredaar Piya Ki. “If you don’t want your kids to watch a show, then don’t let them. Simple! There are websites online that you block if you don’t want your kids to use them, so you can very well restrict them from watching a TV show also. Why create such a fuss?”
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Asked about the suhaag raat scene, which apparently didn’t go down well with many, Tejasswi says that people are exaggerating things without even seeing the episode. “The scene shows us [the kid and me] playing with flowers, and then I even fired the two girls who decorated the room. So whatever reason created the trouble, I don’t think the accusations are even valid. Anyway, I’m not here to judge [anyone], because people have their opinions,” she says.
As for the piya and his pehredaar going on their honeymoon, the actor says, “We’re not going on any honeymoon! The kid gets excited about the idea, approaches me, and I simply refuse. So, baat khatam, na (end of the matter, isn’t it)?”
Tejasswi believes that the show’s popularity has led to people using it for their own benefit. “The show has already become such a huge platform for publicity that everyone wants to be linked with it — in a negative or a positive way. It’s giving everybody recognition and I’d say it’s a smart way of using the platform,” she says.
She is quick to add that people shouldn’t criticise the show based on hearsay; they should take out the time to actually watch it. “Rather than put so much time into writing these things, just spare half an hour and watch the show for a change, maybe. [Also] the number of people who actually like the show is huge, making us the No. 1 show on the channel,” says Tejasswi, emphasising that it’s a fictional show, with fictitious characters. “There’s a disclaimer but clearly people are not reading it,” she says.
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First Published: Aug 12, 2017 14:46 IST