By Priyanka Bhadani
From playing an IAS officer in the political thriller Shanghai and an aspiring politician keen to bring about a change in society in Raanjhanaa to a real-life chor in Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, Abhay Deol has always believed in experimenting and showcasing a varied character graph in his films. Even as the actor may have made a point through his roles in the films he opts for, Deol has mostly stayed away from getting into a social debate at a personal level. However, now he wants to “educate” the society as the host for the fourth season of Channel V’s Gumrah – The End Of Innocence Season 4, a show that attempts to understand the psyche of teenagers, the stress and pressures of modern life that push them to commit a crime.
Deol found the idea of the show pretty interesting. “I haven’t watched all the episodes of the previous seasons, but I know about the show and how well it has been doing,” says the actor, who would be bringing 13 teenage stories that went horribly wrong.
“Gumrah focuses on the thought that nobody is born a criminal but instead circumstances and certain unforeseen incidents take you down a bad path. The idea is to not only educate parents, families, but also the youth,” he says.
To promote the show, the channel organised a panel discussion with Deol, actor Kabir Bedi, writer Ira Trivedi and Nishit Kumar (Childline India) on board on the need to reform juvenile criminals as they discussed the Juvenile Justice Act Bill. While everyone on board had their opinion, Abhay was quite upfront when he said he is against the idea of a harsh punishment like death. “I always believe in the reformation of young minds rather than a harsh punishment like death,” he said as he emphasised on the development of reformation centres for juvenile criminals.
Considering ex-host, Karan Kundra, did really well for the show and made an instant connect with audiences, it may become a little difficult for Deol to establish that connect. Quiz him about this and ask him if his screen image would help him tread this path successfully and he says, “In my film career, I have taken up various kinds of roles. I have done Shanghai which was a political film and I have also done Chakravyuh, on the Naxalites issue. It’s not that the audience haven’t seen me in a role which talks about social issues so connecting with them shouldn’t be an issue,” says the actor, who had hosted Connected Hum Tum on Zee TV last year.
“The concept of Connected… was really intriguing. I thought it would be interesting to show the life of women – a wife, a daughter, a mom – the various shades of women,” he says about the show that captured the life of six women.
On Gumrah, Deol, will be accompanied by a celebrity in each episode and the two will talk about a teen crime story that they have experienced or witnessed in the course of their lives.