Makers of "Pehredaar Piya Ki", a Hindi TV show which has grabbed attention with its alleged vulgarity and for promoting child marriage, on Monday said they have not yet received any legal notice from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to shut the show.
Sumeet Mittal and Sakshi Mittal of Shashi Sumeet Productions, which backs the show, organised a press conference here amid the hullabaloo over the content of "Pehredaar Piya Ki", which shows a girl aged 18 married to a nine-year-old boy who used to click her photographs without getting noticed. Some episodes have been about them having a 'suhag raat' and even enjoying a honeymoon.
The producers said they are ready to give an explanation if needed to the concerned authority, even as an online petition as well as a Mumbai NGO have demanded a ban on the prime time tele-serial.
Asked if they have received any notice from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Sakshi said: "No, we haven't received any notice from the authority and if we get so, we are ready to give our explanation because we know that we have not shown anything wrong in the story. We would like to tell everyone that please do not judge the show without watching it."
What if the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) asks the makers to change the plot?
Sumeet said: "No, we will rather request them to know the content before making any decision. So far, we have no plan to change the plot of the show."
The makers of the show also screened two of the episodes of "Pehredaar Piya Ki" at the conference to give an insight into the circumstances that lead to Divya deciding to get married to a boy who is half of her age. The episode featuring the 'suhag raat' sequence was showcased.
According to Sakshi, "many people have filed the petition without watching the show".
"The other day I went to a party where some ladies were talking about the show before me without knowing that I am its writer. When I asked them if they have watched it, they replied that they do not watch television that much, but if such a show is happening, it should be banned. I mean, where is the logic to it?"
Actor Karan Wahi had last month taken to social media to comment on "Pehredaar Piya Ki", calling it "stupidity in the name of content". He deleted the post within a few hours, but its screenshot circulated around the web.
Reacting to it, Sumeet said: "I think it was irresponsible of him to say that and I will ask my office to send a letter to Karan Wahi, requesting and asking him why he gave a statement like that. If he has something to say, he would also have a reason for it. And If I get an answer from him, I will definitely share it with the media".
Meanwhile, they also defended the show's content by saying they have no intention to promote child marriage, and that the show merely tells the story of an unusual couple.
Sakshi explained: "The girl Divya took the decision of marrying a boy who is half of her age, to keep his father's last wish. He was the man who also once saved her life. So, Divya took the decision emotionally and not logically.
"No one forced her to get married, which usually happens in any child marriage. So this story is not promoting the tradition of child marriage whatsoever. Here, Divya voluntarily dedicated her life to that little boy to protect him from the rest of the family members who are his enemies."
Asked about what made them show the 'honeymoon' and 'suhag raat', Sakshi said: "If you look at the story, everyone in their family is making fun of and insulting Divya for marrying Ratan who is half her age. So, they are intentionally creating uncomfortable situations for the couple by decorating a room for their 'suhag raat' and asking Ratan to go for a 'honeymoon'.
"However, if you look at the episode, no uncomfortable scenes have been shown."