Television

Zee TV's Chandra says he has no political ambitions

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Pradhan Mantri - a drama series on Indian politics - from the Zee TV stable has got a lot of media pundits confounded. They have been questioning Zee TV chairman Subhash Chandra's motive behind backing a political drama which dares expose the machinations of hardcore politicians against a na?ve and honest prime minister appointee who dares to defy the corrupt political system.

 

Does he have a political agenda now that he has lost his media star status? Is he trying to bring about a revival of the Congress (I) by projecting a Rajiv Gandhi type innocent political novice as prime minister now that he has reportedly fallen out of favour with the BJP-led coalition government? Does he think of himself as a king maker?

Chandra has a repartee to all these. Says he: "The Zee Network has 14 channels. One of them is Zee TV, which is an entertainment channel. We cover other genres like information, news, edutainment, education and children's programming. Please don't read that we have lost out in the media stakes. We are the largest in viewership. We have 30 per cent of all cable and satellite eyeballs in India. By far, we are leaders in entertainment and we will remain so."

On his political ambitions he says: "There is no need for me to take shelter behind a programme for furthering my political ambitions. I have no political agenda. It is just a show. When we were discussing a new show to get our audiences, this idea came to us. And the idea was to create a series that would cover what we would like our country to be, what is wrong about our nation, what brings about a feeling of helplessness in us. What is there that can take us forward to the kind of nation we wanted to be when we won our freedom more than 50 years ago. MJ Akbar tells (he co-ideates and co-writes the script) me you need 50 per cent MPs who are honest in Parliament who genuinely care about the nation to make a difference. I say you need just one. And that is what Pradhan Mantri is all about."

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