Director/producer Prakash Jha, is a personality to reckon with and is known for canning subjects pertaining to political-criminal nexus to Bihar prevailing situation on celluloid. Questioning the system, he is one director who is known to deal with hard-hitting subjects. Recently, his web series, Aashram, started streaming on an OTT platform. But, he makes it loud and clear that the web series is not based on any real 'baba'.
“I have not depicted any 'dharam guru'. When the common people suffer with certain insecurities they invest their faith in somebody. Since our country has a culturally and religiously rich heritage, we have many gurus, who are all respected. But there exist a handful who take advantage of the faith of the innocent people put in them. They are criminal-minded people, so they disguise as babas and they exploit these innocent people. They do not belong to any religion and this forms the crux of the story: How people get exploited and used by such babas,” Jha says.
Having put a disclaimer even before the release of Aashram, Jha updates, “Yes, I put a disclaimer even the release simply because everybody is trying to find out who is the baba that is being shown in our web series. WE have not depicted any religious baba as I have mentioned above. I opine that Hindu dharam is extremely vast...kabhi kharab ho sakta hai kya?”
He respectfully addresses all religions (Islam, Christianity, Bodh, Jain) and says that all the religious books lead to good and not evil. “We can never profess anything wrong about any religion; we respect all religions. “Aashram” is about criminals,” he clarifies.
Shedding light on the conceptualisation of 'Aashram' Jha says, “The structure of the story came to me from MX Player. They came with a proposal to me and I liked it. We then worked and developed this story titled Aashram.”
Playing the protagonist is none other than Bobby Deol, who is currently riding high on the success of his previous OTT release, 'Class of '83'. About casting Bobby, he says, “Bobby Deol was the first and the last choice as he was the only guy we approached. He liked it and we took it forward. We didn’t approach any other actor.”
Adding more about the revival of Bobby Deol’s career his take is simple. “For me he was always an actor and he is a damn good actor. Bobby has worked very hard and has done exceedingly well,” the director shares.