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Interview: Saurav Tewari, Head of Fiction, Imagine spoke to Saurabh to dig out more about Armanon ka Balidaan - Aarakshan which has attracted controversies even before its launch.

Interview: Saurav Tewari, Head of Fiction, Imagine spoke to Saurabh to dig out more about Armanon ka Balidaan - Aarakshan which has attracted controversies even before its launch.

Saurav Tewari

Head of Fiction, Imagine

The year 1990 saw a raging social debate in India on the issue of reservation in government jobs.  Students protested all over the country while some even took extreme measures to express their anguish.  Twenty years on, this ‘Quota System’ continues to be a simmering issue between youngsters who have benefitted from this, versus those who have suffered. Set against this backdrop of reservation in jobs, Imagine has brought a compelling new fiction drama Armanon ka Balidaan - Aarakshan which starts Nov 29th, Mon-Fri, 8:30 pm. spoke to Saurabh Tewari, Head of Fiction, Imagine to dig out more about the new show which has attracted controversies even before its launch.

Q) What is the story of Armanon ka Balidaan- Aarakshan all about?

Armanon ka Balidaan- Aarakshan is a compelling new drama that tackles various human emotions from love and honor to greed and ambition. This powerful love story is set against the backdrop of a very real issue that deals with social discrimination, plaguing our society. Armanon ka Balidaan- Aarakshan revolves around Kamlapati Mishra and his family who belongs to the higher social strata, whose lives have been changed irrevocably by the reality of reservation issue.

Q) Do you think a concept like this will really work?

Yes I think it should!  Armanon ka Balidaan – Aarakshan is a show with a totally new concept. Like always, Imagine has tried to do something new. More than a concept I would say that it’s a first step to innovation and a new array in the Indian television. We have always seen shows these days which focus on a particular individual. Our story surely has a backdrop of ‘the reservation policy’, but at the same time it is a beautiful love story and the family drama as well .We are now focusing to make shows that are based on the entire family like the ones in the older times , Buniyaad, Hum Log to name a few.

Q) How did you come up with a concept like this? Was there a research involved?

Definitely, there was quite a lot of research work done behind all this. I visited places like Indore, Lucknow and we came up to a conclusion that there are a lot of cases where people still wish for a government job. That is how the concept came to my mind. We found out that a lot of families still desire a government job. I am not a person who would just run behind making hypothetical shows. So the show did involve a lot of research work that worked well for us as at this time we are in a better position to put up this concept.

Q) Since this is a hardcore subject, what would be your target audience?

Well in totality, the target audience would be people between 15 – 55 years of age. This is because it is a complete family show. We want to target an entire family so they can sit together and enjoy the show.

Q) Do you think this show will create some kind of controversy?

The subject is touchy but we certainly do not encourage any controversy through this show. I strongly believe that whenever the government comes up with a system or a policy it is for the betterment of the society or part of it that really needs it. Through this show we are not trying to criticize the government but we are just trying to portray the impact of it in the lives of the common man.

Q) Noted film director, Prakash Jha raised objection to your show title? What is your take on it?

Post seeing the promos of our show on air, Mr. Jha had objected on us using the word’ Arakshan’ in our title ‘Armanon ka Balidaan- Arakshan’ and the concept of reservation policy which his film is based on. We had from the beginning maintained the fact that our show name is not just one word ‘Arakshan… it is Armanon ka Balidaan- Arakshan’.  Hence both the parties have approached to the Association of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) with our point of views and are awaiting a final verdict on the issue. In my opinion, no one can have a copyright on issues which are of public domain like dowry, partition, terrorism, etc... As for the concept, we are not aware of their storyline nor do they have any clue about ours. At a personal level, all I admire is Mr. Jha’s film making. I have always loved his work. I wish him all the very best for his movie.

Q) Do you think by creating a show on such an issue will make a difference to the government?

I only hope if there is any difference that is made… it is for good and from which the society could be benefited.

Q) Why does Imagine not focus on the normal Saas Bahu’s Saga’s?

Imagine has been talked around for its unique concepts, and again I am someone who loves to work on something which motivates me. Armanon Ka Balidaan- Arakshan is a show which is totally different from the normal family sagas that are telecast every day. I personally believe in creating shows which I would want to go back home and watch. If I cannot watch my own shows then I cannot even expect viewers to watch them too.

Q) Are you happy with the TRP’s of your other shows?

Our shows are doing pretty well considering the timeslot and shows they are competing against with. I did expect a little more ratings than what we have currently but that doesn’t make me less happy and proud of our shows. So, we are reasonably happy with it.  I believe, any show would take atleast 3 -4 months to start gaining higher ratings. All our shows like Rakht Sambandh, Gunahon Ka Devta, Baba Aiso Varr Dhoondo, Kitani Mohabbat Hai 2 which have been recently launched are doing really good.

Q) Why are you replacing Jyoti with this show?

Jyoti as a show is doing really well and had gathered strong ratings. But it is always better to conclude a show with a logical end at the right time. After a point, it gets dragged. It is better to leave a good taste in our viewer’s mouth for the show that has really been liked by them rather than them feeling bored and eventually make them stop watching the show.

Q) Where do you see Imagine after the next 2 quarters?

Currently, Imagine is at 100 – 115 GRP, with the strong line up planned for the next 2 quarters, we are hopeful it just grows and grows! Imagine is a strong brand and our shows in pipeline are bound to entertain one and all. We wish our viewers support us in all our endeavors as they have until now.

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