Raghu Ram Breaks Silence About Quitting Doing ‘Bonded Labour’ In Roadies: “They Had Threatened Me With Legal Action, I Dared Them…”
Raghu Ram Says “MTV Doesn’t Own My A*s” As He Breaks Silence On Quitting Doing ‘Bonded Labour’ In Roadies: “I Dared Them… Sue Me” ( Photo Credit – Instagram )

MTV Roadies is one of the most loved reality shows, and major credit for it goes to its former and current presenters, including Nikhil Chinnapa, Ranvijay Singha, Raghu Ram, Rajiv Ram, Neha Dhupia and more. Despite the show being successful, Raghu quit the show in 2009 and left his fans shocked and clueless about the reason why.

He later wrote about his departure from the show in his 2013 autobiography, Rearview: My Roadies Journey and revealed that there was no bad blood between MTV and him. He has now once more spoken about it, and here’s what he said.

During a recent chat with Indian Express, Raghu Ram recalled why he left Roadies and his meeting with Ashish – the MTV executive who threatened him and didn’t allow him to work in any other channel. Raghu said, “I told him I never got paid for appearing on Roadies, anyway (I was only paid as an employee of the channel), and that I had equity outside that I wanted to monetize. It was not in the same space as Roadies, so there was no conflict of interest here. Furthermore, we were only going to shoot on weekends when MTV was shut, so I would not be taking any time away from my work. I could see no problem with this arrangement. Ashish heard me out, then said, ‘No, bro, this doesn’t work for MTV.’ I was very hurt, but all I said was, ‘Well, bro, in that case, MTV doesn’t work for me.”

After he submitted his resignation, he didn’t hear back from the channel and work on the show continued. Raghu Ram added that he was disheartened to learn that Roadies 6 episodes – which he had already locked, were re-edited without his input. He said he reached out to HR again and demanded that his resignation be accepted as he felt the move was “obviously a power tussle and I refused to take it lying down.”

Raghu revealed that he was not happy when he received a new contract in early 2009. Talking about it, he said, “When I returned to the office in early January, my contract was waiting. And such a ridiculous contract it was. It basically said that I couldn’t work outside, I couldn’t quit MTV. I had to recognize that my contribution to MTV and Roadies was stuff that couldn’t be measured in money. If I worked outside, MTV had the right to stop me and sue me, and so on. It was basically bonded labour!”

Raghu Ram continued, “I sent a reply to Ashish saying, ‘You could have sent me the contract you did, or you could have sent me a single line: Tu karega, tera baap bhi karega.’ MTV doesn’t own my a** and never has. I told him I was quitting right then and there. And since they had threatened me with legal action, I dared them now. Sue me. See if I care. I’m out.”

Stay tuned to Koimoi for more.

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