Public broadcaster Doordarshan needs to revamp itself to stay in the reckoning in the satellite TV era because it is about the channel that focuses on socially relevant issues but falters badly on the quality front, veteran theatre and television actor Virender Saxena says.
‘Doordarshan is the only network that focuses on issues that can really help the society, such as women’s empowerment, but the way this is implemented is shoddy,’ added the actor who played Mona Singh’s father in the hit series ‘Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin’.
‘The quality of shows on Doordarshan is very bad therefore they fail to compete with private channels. On the other hand, the quality of the private channels is good but they lack in socially-relevant content,’ Virender, an alumnus of the National School of Drama, added.
The actor, who was seen in the Doordarshan show ‘Qile Ka Rahasya’, blames old fashioned thinking and red-tapism for the dwindling quality of the broadcaster’s shows.
‘There are older people who are running the channel and they cannot think beyond a point. They need to have new people who would bring out new perspectives. Moreover, there is so much red tapism and one has to cross twenty obstacles (to get a show approved), as someone would say don’t do this and someone would say don’t do that,’ he said.
Virender is happy that the remuneration of actors has gone up.
‘It is true that with so many young actors coming in, the roles for people like us have become limited, but it is also true that an actor will get a role according to his/her age. However, remuneration has tremendously increased over the years as people today are working for Rs.70,000-Rs.80,000 per day,’ he said.
Virendra has been in showbiz for over two decades and featured in TV shows like ‘Mumkin’, ‘Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil’ and ‘Kitni Mohabbat Hai’. He has also acted in films like ‘Dharavi’, ‘Shool’, ‘Sarkar’ and ‘A Wednesday’.
However, after his stint in ‘Kitni Mohabbat Hai’ in 2009, the actor went into a hiatus and has now returned with Sony TV’s ‘Chajje Chajje Ka Pyar’.
‘There were two reasons behind by sabbatical – one is that television has become stale as work is the same everywhere. I was looking for something different, I had got many offers but nothing seemed worthwhile,’ he said.
‘I did some guest appearances because it is very important for an actor to keep working to make your presence felt,’ he added.