Veteran actor Mukesh Khanna, known for his roles such as Bhishmapitama in Mahabharata and Shaktimaan, never minces his words when it comes to criticising content producers like Ekta Kapoor and allegedly ruining the essence of TV shows. With Doordarshan bringing its Golden Era shows like Ramayana, Mahabharata and Shaktimaan back on television during the lockdown, Mukesh Khanna taken a sly dig at Sonakshi Sinha for their ignorance on mythological sagas and Ekta Kapoor for polluting people's mind with daily soaps.
When Sonakshi Sinha had appeared on Kaun Banega Crorepati 11, she failed to answer a simple question related to Hindu mythology epic, Ramayana. "According to Ramayana, Hanuman fetched the Sanjeevani buti (herb) for whom?" was the question placed before Sonakshi. Her options were Sugriva, Lakshmana, Sita and Rama. The Dabangg actress, whose family is closely related to Ramayana, got confused and used a lifetime to answer the question. Eventually, she got brutally trolled on social media.
And now Mukesh Khanna too slammed Sonakshi Sinha saying that the reruns of Ramayana and Mahabharata will help people like her learn something about their mythological sagas.
"I think the reruns will be useful to many who haven't watched the show earlier. It will also help people like Sonakshi Sinha who have no knowledge about our mythological sagas. People like her don't know who did lord Hunuman get Sanjivani for. There is a video doing the rounds where few boys are asked whose Mama (uncle) was Kans and they got scared to answer. Some said Duryodhan, others said something else, so they are not aware of the mythology. Today's generation is too much exposed to other things. They are exposed to saas bahu saga, Tiktok videos, western culture and they are diverted from Indian roots. They don't have time or they don't even bother to know about our history, spirituality or mythology," Mukesh Khanna told TOI in an interview.
He continued, "Plus there are so many other mediums that have killed television completely. Now, they have access to so many things that they have not got into the habit of watching TV. All this has made us progressive, but we have become less emotional and has taken away the kids from sitting with parents, spending time and watching television. Today's generation is born with mobile phones. Now, the reruns will actually reboot their minds and will tell them that the things they have been watching in films, in saas-bahu sagas is not Indian culture. These shows will take them back to our roots."
Daily soaps have polluted the minds
Khanna has often criticised Ekta Kapoor for the way she has been making daily soaps that portray unimaginable things that are no where close to reality. And yet again, the veteran actor spoke about how today's daily soaps have ruined Indian television.
"I am happy that the reruns of Ramayan and Mahabharat are happening because I feel these daily soaps have polluted the minds and now it is the time to sanitize it. I don't think the women who are shown in these daily soaps belong to my or our country. To understand what our women are made of and what they are exactly watch Ramayan and Mahabharat."
"I am going to say something which might hurt many and they might feel I am wrong, but there was a time when TV took over Radio, and now 24 hours news channels and online news have taken over newspapers. Similarly, saas bahu shows have killed the good bi-weekly shows, they want to watch this drama Monday to Saturday. I won't blame Ekta Kapoor entirely. When she made Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, 30 similar shows featuring saas bahu got made. And I am sorry to say the women which she shows we don't see in real-life. Her shows or these saas bahu shows have women sleeping in designer saris, loud makeup and heavy jewellery and then waking up in it. I don't see such women around me."
Ekta Kapoor made a mockery of Mahabharata
Khanna further said that saas bahu sagas have destroyed the TV watching generation and stressed on the fact that there's lack of good content on TV.
He also revealed that Ekta Kapoor had offered him the role of Shantanu, Bhishmapitamah's father, in her modern Mahabharata where characters were flaunting six-pack abs. He eventually refused to play the role for obvious reasons and said that Ekta made a mockery of Mahabharata.
"Ekta Kapoor took Ronit Roy to play Bhishmapitama and they were flaunting six-pack abs, she took popular heroines to play Draupadi and other female characters. I did 15 films before bagging the role of Bhishmapitamah. I had given a proper look test wearing a beard and proper mustache, we were selected on the basis of our audition and they were elected and that's why they did not look the character. The irony of my life is when I was young I played Bhishmapitamah and enacted Shaktimaan's role later in my career. I feel age is just a number and your face is what can make anyone believe what age you are. I strongly believe that girls and actors should not be asked about their age. I played the role of Bhishmapitamah a 160 year old man when I was young and later when I become more mature I did Shaktimaan."
"You will be surprised to know I got a call from Ekta Kapoor's production house for Mahabharat and they offered me to play the role of Shantanu (Bhishmapitamah's father) I told do you really think I will do Shantanu after playing Bhishmah...She made a mockery of Mahabharat. She took all the daily soap actors and tried to make Mahabharat. They are flaunting tattoo. If you want to make Mahabharat rise about it and don't try to ape it. Ekta must be very angry with me because I have spoken about a lot about the kind of content she makes. But I am against the way she projects women in her daily soaps," Khanna said.