Any similarity with murdered Aarushi coincidental: Balaji

June 10th, 2008 - 7:26 pm ICT by IANS  

By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) Television major Balaji Telefilms is unfazed by the flak it has invited by planning to go ahead with its “inspired” version of the Aarushi Talwar murder case on their daily soap “Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki”. It claims any resemblance with the slain teenager is “purely coincidental”. Nivedita Basu, creative head of Balaji Telefilms, claimed that their company has not received any notice to stop shooting any episodes based on the Aarushi murder.

“Even if we receive a notice, I don’t think we would change the track. Although we haven’t started shooting it yet, I have reasons enough to prove that there is no resemblance to Aarushi’s case. People are just presuming that it would be similar,” Basu told IANS by phone from Mumbai.

Basu was speaking on behalf of the company’s head honcho Ekta Kapoor.

Nupur Talwar, the mother of 14-year-old Aarushi who was murdered in Noida May 15 night, Monday appealed to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to stop the production house from using the family tragedy “to earn TRPs (television rating points)”.

The promos of the new track of “Kahaani..” show the framed photograph of character Tanu with a splash of blood on it - strikingly like Aarushi’s picture that has been shown on the TV channel. This prompted Nupur Talwar to file an appeal as she thought the production house was trying to make a mockery of her daughter’s death.

The hair style, face angle and even the smile in Tanu’s photograph is very similar to Aarushi’s - is this a co-incidence?

“This is as per the liberty of the associates. Maybe the picture is similar. No comments on this,” was Basu’s unconvincing explanation.

“We have picked up the issue since it is topical and if people find any similarity between the real incident and the track, it is co-incidental. From our side, it has no bearings with whatever has happened to Aarushi,” she clarified.

Nupur Talwar’s appeal to the child rights panel was forwarded to Information and Broadcasting Secretary Asha Swarup. However, Balaji maintains it is yet to receive any notice to stop working on the track.

The production house, which picks up social issues like gender discrimination, widow remarriage, rape, marital rape and the alike, was taken aback by the criticism.

“I wasn’t anticipating any notice or such a reaction. I understand her mother’s feelings but it is wrong to accuse Balaji of making a mockery out of the girl’s death. We are in any case not going into the nitty-gritty of her case. I don’t think we are wrong in depicting it,” Basu said.

But with the police investigations still on, isn’t it too early to show a track on the lines as Aarushi’s murder?

On criticism that Balaji is planning to show Tanu’s death as an honour killing, the same allegation levelled against Rajesh Talwar as a possible motive for allegedly killing his daughter, Basu said: “With our new track, we are not trying to say that Aarushi’s case is that of honour killing. Whatever is happening on my show, is happening to my characters only.”

“I don’t understand why there is opposition in this regard? Honour killing is just a possibility in Aarushi’s case, but we are focussing our track entirely on that.

“Honour killing is a social issue. It is a common phenomenon in the interiors of the country in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. This is a domestic issue.”

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