EXCLUSIVE | Journalists should be scrutinised too: Pratik Gandhi

| Updated: 25 October, 2023 9:54 pm IST

Scam 1992 star and one of the most sought-after actors in Tinseltown at this point, Pratik Gandhi, found himself on the hot seat in an exclusive interaction with The New Indian’s Executive Editor, Rohan Dua, where he spoke about how journalism has changed through the years, and how journalists should be put under the scanner if they make claims against other celebrities or people of significance. He also spills beans on how much research goes into playing an investigating officer and also about his unending faith in central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Police. 

Pratik Opens Up About Making Journalists Accountable And The Presence Of Only Two Sides

Rohan Dua: Many people believe that journalists sometimes are involved in a quid pro quo where they take favours to slam a politician’s career or that of a celebrity’s career as well which sort of hurts the prospects of fair and objective journalism.

Pratik Gandhi: Yeah, (that) must be the case, but I am not sure whether this particular case (with Sucheta Dalal) is that way or not, but one thing I’ll tell you, maybe on the similar lines. When we were kids, we used to hear news on Doordarshan, where the news would not have any tone, and when any news reader would read the news, they would just give you the news, plain and simple with a straight face. Now, whenever I read (the) news or watch (the) news, be it radio, television or print, everywhere they throw a colour at you. They want to prime me (into) thinking this way, which should not be the case is what I personally feel. It maybe wrong, it maybe right.

Rohan: You’re trying to say that there are only two ideologies thriving, one extreme left and one extreme right. There is no middle path.

Pratik: There is no middle path. Aap mujhe sirf news batao nah (Just tell me the news), don’t tell me that this is news and this is the truth, because you are nobody to judge. Am I anybody to judge? If this is news, it should just be news and left to the individual who wants to dig deeper into it, otherwise the truth can be very diluted.

Pratik Elaborates Upon His Belief In Central Investigating Agencies

Rohan: How do you look at the role of investigating agencies? Especially after having acted in ‘The Great Indian Murder’, which got you some exposure from Ajay Devgn’s production house, and now you have interacted with many officers when you worked on these projects.

Pratik: As far as the role is concerned in you know in The Great Indian Murder about that CBI officer Suraj Yadav, that character had certain greed, certain needs, certain dreams and that’s why he did whatever he did. We see anything that we portray, anything that you read, anything that is written. (These) always have some real life references.

I don’t know where this comes from but it might be that this knowledge comes from a lot of different references.

It may be an amalgamation of a lot of people and their thoughts. As an actor, my job was just to create that psyche and create that character that’s it. As far as real-life agencies and things are concerned, as a common layperson I want to put my faith in these agencies. Bachpan se humne yahi jaana hai ki police, CBI, humare raksha ke liye hai (Since childhood, we have been told that the police and the CBI are there to protect us). I want to keep this faith for my kids too.

Rohan: There are still cases of black sheep and errant officers.

Pratik Talks About The Role Of Movies In The Portrayal Of Central Agencies

Pratik: Woh toh hai hi. Bachpan se humne itne movies dekhe hai (Of course, they exist. We have been watching movies with these characters since childhood). We can’t even say that it’s not there, we can’t even say that it’s there everywhere, but I guess that is how the world works.

Rohan: Has there been any investigation which has influenced you very deeply or hurt you deeply, one way or the other, or do you remember any particular crime since the beginning?

Pratik: There are a lot of things that keep happening around. There are a lot of investigations where you have to think about how a particular case is being portrayed. There are always multiple stories and if we do not go deep into it then there’s no way to understand the truth. I don’t know about any scam in Gujarat, because I don’t read much into these things. It is very disturbing.

Pratik Talks About The Memories Of The Tragic Gujarat Riots Of 2002

Rohan: What is the memory like about witnessing the Gujarat riots?

Pratik: I was very young back then, in sixth or seventh standard. It was very disturbing.

Pratik Opens Up About The State Of Gujarat Now

Rohan: Do you think Gujarat is stable now?

Pratik: Now, in the past 20 years, I haven’t been to Gujarat for reasons other than work. I don’t go there as much anymore either.

Rohan: What do you think has changed in the last 20 years?

Pratik: I know that infrastructure-wise a lot of things have changed which I can visually see. Surat has changed a lot now, with a lot of flyovers, I need Google Maps to navigate through its lanes now. If you take one flyover you might just reach another city. It was difficult to find my own home for some time.

Rohan: Do you love the Surat of now better than what it was then?

Pratik: The best part is the food which is still intact, the people and their spirit is still intact. I know this because I still have friends and family there and their jazba and their spirit everything is still intact.

Pratik And His Love For Surat and Its Food

Rohan: What’s your most favourite food that you miss from Surat and what is your most favourite memory from there?

Pratik: Everything. The food is amazing, starting from Khaman to Locho, and now the winters are approaching and then we will get Bawhok as well.

Rohan: Is there any particular thing that you used to get during festivities in Surat?

Pratik: Khaman aate rehte the.

Pratik Believes That India Needs Mahatma Gandhi Now More Than Ever

Rohan: Since you will be playing Mahatma Gandhi and you just completed with the shooting of playing Jyotirao Phule, how do you want both of them to be looked at by Indians?

Pratik: Jyotiba Phule, whose shooting I was just done with, and everything that he contributed to changing Indian culture, changing taboos, is phenomenal. Now think about the time when it was so difficult to say a word or communicate your liberal ideas amongst your own people. Forget about Britishers.

So in those times he started widow remarriage, started a movement against untouchability. There were views back then when the upper caste men would only let boys study but would not let girls study. So, he taught Savitribai how to read and write and change with time. It was a very futuristic idea back then. I have immense respect for them and as far as Mahatma Gandhi is considered, enough has been said about him and enough has been written about him. He is a Mahatma for a reason. The world needs Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi at this point more than at any other point in time.

Rohan: You had once said that people should learn about the trials Mahatma Gandhi faced when he was younger, so I wanted to ask you is how essential is it for a man to share their failures and fears.

Pratik Shares His Failures, Holding On To The Belief That They Should Be Talked About More

Pratik: Failures or fears need to be spoken about. People are interested about your failures only once you’re successful. There are a lot of people who are putting in immense effort but they are just not successful that doesn’t mean that they are failures because success is actually very relative you know what you feel is successful, I may not.

Rohan: Have you faced failures?

Pratik: Yes, I have faced a lot of failures and I have also faced a lot of rejection but it is only during this course that you can truly shape yourself up. Failure and success are very relative.

Rohan: Is there any particular failure that you think of or remember?

Pratik: When I came to Mumbai, and you know it’s the city of dreams and when you want to create your space in a world where you have no connection and you don’t know anybody, and you don’t know how it works, you don’t know whom to meet — you keep failing for years. Keep getting rejections for years and then suddenly, one night everything changes, but people will feel that it is an overnight success.

After completing my graduation I figured that Mumbai was the place where I had work I mean Mumbai was the place where I felt that I can do multiple things together.

Pratik’s Tryst With The Corporate World Of Engineering

Rohan: Do you have any particular memory that you remember of your corporate life at Reliance Group, since we have spoken about your hardships?

Pratik: I was working with the Reliance Group so I was a part of the Reliance infrastructure with a lot of pleasant memories there because of the kind of work I used to do. I have worked on many different projects where I don’t think I would have worked anywhere else. I felt so because of the kind of free hand that I was given and we worked. I used to work for hospitals, and cement plant planning.

Pratik Talks About His Gandhi Connection 

Rohan: What do you make of the other Gandhi who stays in Delhi and had recently conducted the Bharat Jodo Yatra where a lot of celebrities had joined him?

Pratik: I have never met him and have had no interactions with him. Whatever I know is through social media, he has a rich legacy though but that’s all I know about him.

Rohan: Do you foresee that with this surname he can become the Prime Minister?

Pratik: People ask me too if I have any connection with Gandhiji’s family. I say that “aisa kuch hai hi nahi”.

Pratik Takes His Pick — Engineering Or Acting, Modi Or Rahul Gandhi?

Rohan: If given the option of being an engineer in Reliance or the US, or working as an actor, which one would you choose?

Pratik: It’s a very difficult selection and I’m glad that I don’t have to make the selection right now. I did that in 2016.

Rohan: Mahatma Gandhi, Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi?

Pratik: In order. Narendra Modi, I have met him and he also comes from Gujarat so, I like him. Mahatma Gandhi just feels very close to me because I have read him so much. It just feels that I know him very well. Rahul Gandhi, I don’t know him at all.

Rohan: Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi?

Pratik: The answer is obvious. It’s Narendra Modi because he is our PM. I just share my surname with Rahul.

Rohan: What is your favourite food item that gives you a gastronomical high?

Pratik: Gur Papdi.

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