Ban Pehredaar Piya Ki, Smriti Irani Petitioned. But Actress Calls Show 'Progressive'

In Pehredaar Piya Ki, a 10-year-old boy is married to a woman twice his age. The storyline has been slammed by tele-viewers and celebs like Karan Wahi

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Ban Pehredaar Piya Ki, Smriti Irani Petitioned. But Actress Calls Show 'Progressive'

A still from Pehredaar Piya Ki. (Image courtesy: SET India)

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. A ban petition started on change.org has over 35,000 signatures
  2. We do not want our kids to be influenced by such TV serials: Petitioner
  3. Pehredaar Piya Ki has been slammed for its bizarre plot
Television show Pehredaar Piya Ki was infamous for its plotline from the start, actually even before it started. 20 days later, public sentiment about the TV show, in which a 10-year-old boy is married to an 18-year-old woman (because he needs to be protected), remain the same. A petition on change.org addressed to Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles and Information and Broadcasting (Additional Charge), called for a ban on the show. The petitioner, who now has 36,282 signatures (and counting) in support, wrote: "A 10-year-old impressionable little kid ("piyaa") caressing and stalking a lady who's more than double his age and filling sindoor in her "maang" is being telecasted at prime time, family time. Imagine the kind of influence it will steadily and perpetually infuse in the viewers' mindset. We want a ban on the serial. We do not want our kids to be influenced by such TV serials."

Defending the show, Tejaswi Prakash, who plays the role of Diya (the Pehredaar of the title) told news agency IANS that it is in fact a 'progressive' show. She said: "I think it's really progressive. But again, a lot of people believe in judging a book by its cover. They love being judgmental and people have nothing better to do than judging somebody else's work. Then okay, what can I do?"

She also compared Pehredaar Piya Ki to Game Of Thrones and said: "It also happened in Game Of Thrones. People love Game Of Thrones and if same thing happens in Pehredaar Piya Ki, then it's an issue." Perhaps Tejaswi was referring to Loras Tyrell and Cersei Lannister's engagement announcement (huge emphases on the word announcement) in season 4. The wedding actually never happened and Cersei was not Loras' pehredaar in fact the exact opposite.

But tele-viewers think that the show's story hit a new low by introducing a suhagraat sequence and a proposed London honeymoon for Diya and Ratan. "I don't think so. I feel it's just a story and fiction. It's just a story that we are telling people. So how can you judge any story? You like it okay, you don't like it, so, you don't like it. We are not professors, we are not trying to teach you anything," said Tejaswi, who has earlier featured in shows like Swaragini.

Ever since the show's first promos aired on television in July, tele-viewers were outraged by the theme and alleged that the show propagates the idea of child marriage (an issue which has been critiqued by soaps like Balika Vadhu and Gangaa). After the initial few episodes aired, actor Karan Wahi slammed the makers for "selling stupidity in the name of content which gives TRP." Cast member Suyyash Rai defended the show and said in an Instagram post: "But this doesn't change the fact that we, the whole team of Pehredaar Piya Ki love this show and we all have worked really hard for it."

The first few episodes introduced the protagonists, Ratan (Afaan Khan), 10, and Diya, 18. Without wasting time, Pehredaar Piya Ki showed how Ratan was smitten by Diya's beauty. He said that she's prettier that the 'pari' in the stories his aunt read to him. Ratan followed her around clicking pictures, saved her from a cockroach and expressed his desire to get married to a woman twice his age - all the adults in vicinity had laughed. Diya also considered it a joke and was almost engaged to a man of her age (played by Suyyash Rai). But fate had different plans for them. Ratan's parents died in a bomb blast, which was intended for the young heir. Ratan's father on his deathbed requested Diya to marry his son and become his Pehredaar to protect the child from his conspiring relatives.

(With IANS inputs)

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