Indian daily soaps tend to get our nerves owning to their melodramatic storylines, the same old twist and turns and ages-old dialogues. While this is changing now, a couple of years ago, a TV show was pulled off air owing to the backlash it received for its cringe storyline and romance. If you’re wondering which show are we talking about, it’s Sony Television’s Pehredaar Piya Ki.
Starring Tejaswi Prakash (Diya Ratan Maan Singh) and child actor Affan Khan (Ratan Maan Singh) as the lead couple, the show was one of the shortest aired daily with only 31 episodes. At its crux, the show followed the lives of a nine-year-old Rajput prince (Khan) and an 18-year-old princess (Prakash) after they got married. It saw the couple go on a honeymoon to London while he is still studying in primary school.
The show, which was launched in July 2017, caused outrage on social media as it showed the 9-year-old prince following the princess who is double his age and clicking her photos without her knowledge. Pehredaar Piya Ki aired on Sony (Monday-Thursday) during the prime time slot – 8:30 pm. Given that this is when families usually sit together and enjoy some drama, people questioned the kind of content being made. Mansi Jain started a petition on Change.org against the show, and in a matter of days, over 51,000 people signing in agreement.
The petition was even sent to actress-turned-politician Smriti Irani. It read as, “Pehredar Piya Ki, a 10-year-old impressionable little kid (“piya”) caressing and stalking a lady who’s more than double his age and filling sindoor in her maang is being telecasted at prime time 8:30 pm on SONY. (Family time) It is to be devoured by the entire nation. Imagine the kind of influence it will steadily and perpetually infuse in the viewer’s mindset. We want a ban on the serial. We do not want our kids to be influenced by such TV serials. Join us in signing the petition to ban this serial (sic).”
Owing to the backlash and the petition filed, the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), on August 17, 2017, asked Sony TV to move the show to a later slot. So, in just a month, the show moved from a prime time slot to a late-night one – 10.30 pm slot (Monday to Thursday). The show was still repeatedly condemned for the alleged promotion of child marriage, and hence the BCCC also asked Sony to issue a disclaimer that the channel/show does not support child marriage.
Not happy with this decision, Sumeet Hukamchand Mittal, the producer of Pehredaar Piya Ki, said that it was a creative decision to bring down the curtains on the show. It was then that he also revealed that the show would be back with a new season – and it was. Titled Rishta Likhenge Hum Naya, the show saw Tejaswi Prakash reprising her role as Diya Ratan Maan Singh and Rohit Suchanti step into Affan Khan’s shoes.
This show took a 12-year leap and premiered in November 2017. It ran for a total of 149 episodes.
Did you watch Pehredaar Piya Ki and find it content cringe-worth? Let us know what you thought of the serial in the comments.