Ex-crime journalist Jigna Vora's presence in the ongoing season of Bigg Boss 17 has generated a lot of curiousity amongst fans and the industry, at large. The Free Press Journal team caught up with the contestant to gauge her thoughts about overcoming the trauma inflicted upon her, following an unfair media trial and her purpose behind participating in the famed reality TV series.
Do the memories of 2011 still haunt you?
I've been here since 2011. The media has taken me to that biggest incident which happened to me. I have mentioned a lot many incidents that hurt me. There are a few incidents that don't vanish from my mind. Firstly, it is the media's behaviour. Media has camouflaged their colours, now in comparison to those days, I just can't forget they are mine but the media trial is something that has the worst memories. I have learned a lot from these incidents.
Do you want to share about your time in jail?
My first entry into the jail, it felt really humiliating. Secondly, when my son had come to visit me during his Christmas vacation in jail, he told me, "Mama tu yeh kar hi nahi sakti hai". Since that day I decided there is no need for me to explain to anyone or the media.
Anything else, that you'd like to share?
Thirdly, my nana who was 90 years old, had come to me after seeking proper permissions. He was leaving the jail holding a stick in his hand. One journalist captured him in the cameras, which was very humiliating.
One hears you distance yourself from talking to officials about this episode. May we know why?
Bigg Boss has made a rule to not talk about the past but to be in the present. So, when we are not supposed to discuss the past there is no need to talk about it.
Why did you choose to be a part of BB17?
Ask BB- why they chose me. This is such a huge reality show that will reach 130cr people. I am of the opinion that the population of my country needs to know the reality about who Jigna Vora is. You are labelled as an underworld and an item. Can you digest that? Presently, there are no politics neither am I going to join politics. After watching my web series, people call me a strong woman and inspirational. I am really strong and inspiring.
Do you regret any of your decisions?
Today, being on this platform I don’t regret anything. I also feel, I never made any wrong decisions.
Do you feel that you may have crossed a line?
Its written clearly in the bail order that I have not crossed any line.
Does it occur to you, why me?
This answer to the query -Why me? I’m still trying to find it out. Believe me I never lie, I don't know the truth. Let bygones be bygones.
Do you look at police authorities with any resentment?
This phrase applies to me- "Police ki dosti aur dushmani dono bhi achi nahi hai." I don’t want to talk about any police authority. I’m not bitter but when the past comes in front of your eyes, again and again, you revive it and feel unpleasant about it. I’m happy that facts have come out. I have suffered maybe because of my past karmas.
What do you have to say about how the media portrayed you?
Media ki mein apni thi police ko kyun blame karun. (I was one of their own, why would I wrong the police?) Media is the fourth state and you guys have realised and come here to talk to me. Media should not judge others. Knowing the back story is a must. I was a crime reporter and I wrote stories with proper documents. I read, I’m close to someone, Just because I’m a single mother so you can label me. I’m sad that women editors and female reporters have said that I have slept to get stories.
Anything you've learnt from your past mistakes?
I wouldn't like to trust anyone now. I would trust everyone easily. There were no favourites of mine in the police authority. My sources were ...Chai wala, clerk and liftman. I have been labelled. Do you think single women and single mothers are easy targets? Why do character assassination? Someone must have not been able to digest my success.
Do you think anyone was jealous of your success?
Nobody speaks on your face. After the case was registered, I understood there were so many media personnel who couldn't digest my success. After that I decided not to join the media profession. I chose writing, I’m satisfying my passion by writing scripts. I’m writing the second script based on fictional content.
Did you feel backstabbed by your trainee?
I wouldn't have done this kind of character assassination. I would only write after getting proper documents. I would have never gone personal. One incident happened with me- when I had been to a spa, I wanted to pamper myself by doing pedicure and manicure. This was mentioned by the media. One junior had accompanied me, she was taking body slimming sessions. We had to attend a crime P.C. During our journey we spoke something and that was published by that trainee reporter after I was arrested. I am happy with the transition.
Did you find out who were after you?
Will my 12 years come back if I try? I didn't want to find it. As I never wanted to go into that negative zone. Ho gaya woh hogaya. You also may have experienced exploitation in many ways but not like mine. But now I have understood the pillar of my strength was just my family and my son. I didn’t have to do anything with the underworld. I’m not interested in getting any answers, be it gangsters.
Were you hungry to get that by-line?
Yes, I did have that hunger and arrogance to see my by-line. It's an addiction which is more than drugs and alcohol and slowly that ego and arrogance seeps in. We need that visibilty. You start abusing yourself if you miss any story. We are on a different trip. Realisation of not running after stories at the cost of my family, took half my life and such a big episode happened. Family supports you; nobody will ever stand by your side.
How did you deal with depression?
I am fortunate my family stood by my side so I didn’t get into depression and any anxiety. I accepted my situation. I’m in jail. I was broken, I surrendered to god. Support of family members who stood by my side and my son helped me to be strong. God becomes irrelevant when you are moving fast. We feel we are god. Having faith in myself, I worked a lot and I changed my personality. God wanted me to change as I also understood. Akal aagayi
Do you face any pressures now?
Pressure of my son, I couldn't give him what he needed from a mother at a young age. He could have gone haywire. Thankfully he took the right oath. There was pressure from the society - how will they accept me. My son was sure that god will prove I'm not guilty. He has become mature. He wanted me to go to BB. We both have shown the world that we are strong.
What's your next script about?
It's fiction. It’s nothing to do with crime thrillers.