Prakash Jha

National award-winner Prakash Jha is an eminent producer, actor, director and screenwriter Prakash Jha is known for his political and socio-political films such as 'Damul', 'Mrityudand', 'Gangaajal', 'Apaharan' including multi-starrer movies like 'Raajneeti','Aarakshan', and 'Satyagraha'.

His next film will  Pareeksha – The Final Test will be releasing on the OTT owing to the pandemic.

The film is based on the real-life story of IPS officer Abhayanand who teaches and coaches kids in a village in Bihar. The film talks about the education system in India. It revolves around the story of an ordinary rickshaw driver in Bihar. He aspires and dreams of providing maximum possible quality education to his son by making arrangements for him to study at a private English medium school.

In an exclusive freewheeling conversation with IBTimes, Prakash Jha spoke about his upcoming film Pareeksha, his views on the government's new plan of action for the education system and more.

Excerpts from the conversation:


Why was there a delay in releasing the film Pareeksha?

We have shown Pareeksha at various film festivals abroad.The film was supposed to hit the theatres but due to the ongoing pandemic, we have now decided to release the film on the OTT platform.

Are you nervous about the response of the film, considering its an OTT release, there won't be box-office collection?

 I have made the film with sincerity and hard work. From getting the actors on board to filming now it's time for my aakhri pareksha.. ab kya number audience degi dekte hai. (It's time for the film to release, and let's see what number does the audience give the film). Having said that, yes I am nervous.

Talking further about the film dropping on an OTT

The content is what matters to me. As a director, it's my duty that the film is visually appealing and should captivate the audience. Owing to the ongoing pandemic, the government has made specific changes in the educational policy for the betterment of students and teachers.

What are your views on the government's new educational policy?

I laud the decisions made by the government, on the whole, the intention is to commit 6 per cent of the GDP on the education system. B. Ed will now be for four years, this is indeed a great move. Teaching is such a noble profession, and more time and money will now be invested in generating quality teachers. Earlier teaching was the last job people and youngsters would opt for. Teaching for many is an option, with these new rules coming into action. Teaching as a profession with getting its due. Sabse Badi cheez hai shiksha and this kind of involvement will be led to the progress of our education system. More than that, infrastructure is also a vital part of schooling, which is being worked well upon. Irada acha hai (The thought of giving education important is a good move).

Smartphones and good internet speed have become an essential commodity? What about the student staying in rural areas? How do they benefit from this new education policy?

 This is exactly what my film Pareeksha talks about how ek kaam gareeb aadmi, (a poor man) how he strives against all odds and ensures his child gets the requires education.

Furthermore, he added:

I believe smartphone and internet should be given to students Tabhi baat baanti hai (only then will it work out as planned).

Your films depict the harsh realities of life, do you write scripts according to the actors or vice versa?

What comes to mind I write accordingly and after that I approach the actors. So far,  I am glad to have worked with Mr Bachchan , Devgn (Ajay) and now Adil Hussain. Every actor fits the role perfectly.

Prakash Jha's Pareeksha – The Final Test will be streaming on Zee 5 from August 6.