Today, apart from the Mumbai rain, the premature end of Pehredaar Piya Ki has been making headlines. The show on Sony Entertainment Television was abruptly brought to an end after being reportedly pressurized by the I&B ministry over its content. The show depicts the story of a 10-year-old boy married to an 18-year-old girl, who more than being a wife, is his pehredaar (protector). A certain section of the audience felt the show is obnoxious and perverted and filed a petition against it demanding a ban from I&B Minister Smriti Irani. The show recently complied with the orders of the BCCC (Broadcasting Content Complaints Council) and moved to a later slot, but seems like that was not the end. Yesterday, the show did not air raising many eyebrows, and today, the channel sent out a statement regarding the end of the show.
Producer Sumeet Mittal in an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com opened up about the end of Pehredaar Piya Ki. He said, “From the time the show went on air, there has been a constant buzz about it. We were really hoping that our show would remain unaffected by all the petitions and go strong. After the BCCC issued a notice to move it to the post 10pm slot, we were heartbroken. This show was meant for a specific audience and it was best suited at the 8:30pm slot. We recently had a meeting with the channel where we put across our grievances and issues. We mutually concluded that it was best to pull the curtains down than air it at a wrong slot.”
There’s information that the I&B ministry pressurized the channel to take the daily off the air. Sumeet, on his part, said that he was happy with the way Sony TV has stood with him. “I cannot comment on the ministry part but I must first tell you that the channel offered us to get back with a new show in the same time slot. That’s commendable on their part. We had a wonderful team and we really hope we can get back with another project with them. It’s sad but we will take this on our stride and move ahead,” added the show maker.
When asked if he has to look behind and point out what caused this disastrous incident, Sumeet smiled to say, “I think the social media. I agree that people have the freedom of speech but one can’t be so irresponsible. There’s a show where so many people are working and you can’t judge it over an out of context promo or scene. I have time and again said that the people who are talking negative about the show are not the ones who watch TV. We have to understand the organic reach of a specific show. Pehredaar Piya Ki audience is not the ones who troll or bash things online.”
Talking about the mood of the team, the producer said, “It’s wrongly reported that they got to know about the news through media. I had a healthy discussion with the cast and crew and shared about the decision. They agreed that the storyline that we have wouldn’t work at the later slot and it’s best to end our show on a high that to compromise with it. As for monetary losses it’s all temporary and we will back stronger soon.”
Ask him if there is any learning that he will take back from this and Sumeet said, “We will continue to entertain our audience with different shows. What’s done is done, and we would not like to sit and calculate what went wrong. Pehredaar Piya may have received backlash but it also got a lot of love from its viewers. We will focus on the positivity and focus our energies on bringing another show soon. We work for the audience and that’s how it will always be.”
The channel on its part, earlier today issued the following statement: “Effective 28th August 2017, we are pulling off our programme, Pehredaar Piye Ki, from television. While we understand that the decision to end this serial will be disappointing to those whose creative energies are vested in it, namely, its crew and cast, we (as a channel) are convinced that we will be better served by focusing instead on developing viewer interest in our upcoming, new shows. We are grateful to all the artists, producers and fans of our shows and request you to graciously support the viewership of our newer ventures.”