One of the main elements of a Prakash Jha film is its sociological theme and the director now wants to make a film on the relationship between the society and the police in this day and age. Jha’s films like Mrityudand, Gangaajal, Apaharan, Satyagraha ensured that the audiences connected to them. The 61-year-old director feels the image of police in the society has changed drastically in the 21st century and this subject has the potential to make for an interesting movie on police system of this day.
“I did ‘Gangaajal‘ which was about the relationship between the society and police at that point of time. The dictum then was that society gets the police it deserves. But in the last 12 years, there has been a big change. The attitude of the society to the police is different,” Jha told PTI in an interview.
“Today if a cop has to arrest a criminal he thinks ten times, because there is the caste, communal factor, the local goon, the politician, his own officer, the judiciary. My cop-friends say there is no policing in this country anymore. Efficiency has become a crime and inaction is a virtue. I find this very interesting. I have a story I could work on it,” Jha said.
The film-maker who also tried his hand in politics for some time, has made his political stance well-known in his movies as well. His films always reflected politics- ‘Raajneeti‘ draws parallels from Mahabharata while showcasing today’s politics, ‘Apaharan‘ was based on politicians and the kidnapping industry in Bihar, ‘Aarakshan‘ was on the controversial policy of caste based reservations in Indian government jobs and educational institutions and ‘Chakravyuh‘ was a commentary on the issues of Naxals.
Jha says he hasn’t made any of the movies with an intent to influence youth into politics as he believes politics isn’t the only way to change the system.
“One way you can change the system is by getting into the system, as long as you don’t get into the system those who are in the power will continue to do what they are doing. But I feel even thinking about politics, about the right candidate, voting for the right candidate, canvassing for the right candidate, making sure that the right candidate comes to lead us- is also political engagement. You don’t have to become a politician, you have to be politically aware. You have to take control of your political destiny,” the director-producer said.
Jha contested unsuccessfully in the Lok Sabha elections twice from his native Champaran in 2004 and again in 2009. When asked whether his political career would take a phoenix turn, he said, “My political career is long over. I am a very straight and determined guy. I gave ten years of my life to public service. It is over and I am finished with it. I have to do a whole lot of other things.”
The director is elated by the excellent response his latest movie got at the box office as he didn’t expect it. “I am not talking about some of the critics who did not agree with my presentation but in terms of collection and response of the audience, it has exceeded our expectations. I don’t really make commercial films so it is interesting for me to see how people do connect to this kind of cinema and find it engaging. It encourages me,” Jha said.