The controversy surrounding Sony Entertainment Television’s Pehredaar Piya Ki seems to be growing by the day. What started as personal social media posts, has become a nationwide issue today. With petitions filed against the show to I&B Minister Smriti Irani, and the case now said to have reached the desk of BCCC (Broadcasting Content Complaints Council), the producers of the show Shashi and Sumeet Mittal decided to address the media on Monday. The makers, who have shows like Punar Vivah, Diya Aur Baati Hum and Tu Sooraj Main Saanjh Piya Ji under their credit, seemed quite confident and assured media that they will never project anything anti-social in their show. They gave their justification on the fact that a 10-year-old boy Ratan is married to an 18-year-old girl Diya, in Pehredaar Piya Ki. In the conference, they also spoke about accusations levied against them regarding infiltrating children and also on how the controversy has actually made their show more popular.
The conference started with a journalist asking the producers whether Karan Wahi going public about his disapproval caused more people to take notice. Stating that they have never worked with him or have any enmity, the producers quipped, “Well, Karan was not even in town when our show launched and we don’t know why he posted such comments. We will be sending a letter to him asking what did he find wrong in our show. It’s always good to get some feedback. We are part of the same industry and these posts were not needed. We also feel social media aggravated the matter, it’s a clear case of a mountain being made out of a mole.”
The producers were further asked whether such innocent kids exist in real life, compared to what they claim Ratan to be in their show. Defending their stand on whether it would have a wrong effect on growing minds, they said, “We have a nine year old daughter and she is as innocent as Ratan. I think it all depends on the environment a child is brought up that determines their personality. The kids today are used to terms like ‘honeymoon’ and ‘suhaag raat’, they might know its meaning but these words come up in any family. To make it an issue was wrong on people’s side. The behavior is as normal as any child. For everything abnormal, there is an absolute clarity being given by our side. The girl stands up against the suhaag raat celebration and rebukes her family to have insulted her relationship.”
More than a lakh people have signed the petition against the show demanding its ban. Saying that it’s unjustified, the producers quipped, “Most of the people who are signing the petition have no clue about the show. They proudly claim they don’t watch TV. When you haven’t seen the show, how can you judge it? We have not shown anything objectionable. As traditional people ourselves, we know our boundaries. There is a sweet platonic relationship between the boy and girl, and that nowhere is against the society.”
“We have indeed clarified the reason of this marriage in our show. The boy’s dying father requests the girl to marry her for he feels she alone can protect her. As a wife, she will have complete right over him and the household and so he asks her to marry his son. He also tells the family that once the boy is 21 years, they should have a legal marriage,” the makers said on asked why a marriage was necessary between the lead actors.
Talking about whether negative publicity helped the show, they said, “The ratings that we have got till now have been only for our content. When it goes up thrashing the roof, only then we will believe that the controversy has worked for us. As of now, we will stick to our plot and continue with the same storyline. Only the audience can make us alter it, but for now they are really happy with the show. The fans have even started a petition in support of our show and it’s getting quite a positive feedback. A lot of industry people are also backing us and we get messages from a lot of people who feel our show is a wonderful one. ”
Last time, when indianexpress.com had spoken to Sumeet, he had confidently said that he was enjoying the entire backlash that was coming his way in terms of his show. Now that the matter is said to have reached BCCC, we asked him how he is taking things. “Abhi thoda zyada hogaya (laughs). The backlash was indeed enjoyable and I am still game for it but there should be a justified reason for the same. You can’t blindly put our show down without even seeing it. I have no problems with petitions but you can’t decide to ban a show unnecessarily. We have been righteous and will continue to tread a lawful path. Let’s see what comes ahead. We believe in our product and are ready to fight for it and put our point across BCCC.”
Pehredaar Piya Ki stars Tejasswi Prakash and Afaan Khan in the lead roles.