TALKING POINT with Ashutosh Rana

Quite simply,it’s because in terms of location,content and logistics,it is the biggest reality show to hit Indian television...

Written by Pooja Pillai | Published:February 28, 2009 1:42 am

The actor explains why his new reality show is a microcosm of the real world

Why is Sarkaar ki Duniya,your show with Real,being touted as the biggest reality show in India?
Quite simply,it’s because in terms of location,content and logistics,it is the biggest reality show to hit Indian television. It is set on an island and involves the participation of 18 contestants—all of them ordinary people,but extraordinary in their chosen fields. The show is going to be a test of their survival skills. They’ll be given only the very basic necessities—food,clothing and shelter,and some token,to use as money. Other amenities,like electricity and spices,will not be available. They have to complete certain tasks and collect enough tokens. The one with the least number of tokens will be eliminated at the end of the week.

Are you playing the dictator of the island?
I’m playing Sarkaar. I have the last word in all matters on the island and my word is law. I’ll set the tasks and I’ll also punish and reward as I see fit. But I won’t be the villain here; I’m just going to be a tough taskmaster. I will direct them,not correct them.

Is this yet another one in the long list of reality shows? What will set it apart from the crowd?
This show is actually a pocket edition of the real world. For instance,in the outside world,life is easy for us with all our gadgets and appliances and we lose our temper if they stop working. The island teaches people to live with only the basics and it makes them stronger. Basically,the contestants will become personalities,instead of remaining persons.

Is there any viewer participation?
Of course,there is. The viewers are watching and that in itself is the biggest kind of participation. And really,the viewers will feel involved because as I said,it is a reflection of the real world. There are lessons to learn from this show. A financial honcho might learn a few lessons on asset management from these contestants who have to scrape by on meager resources every week.

What is next for you,after working on Sarkaar ki Duniya?
I’ve been in the industry for 10-12 years. During this period I have been very choosy and as a result I’ve done very little work. It’s also a matter of luck— sometimes I like a project,but it still slips out of my hands. And whether its television or film,it really doesn’t matter to me,as long as it’s quality work. So in the future,I’ll continue with what interests me.

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