Sony TV’s latest daily soap Pehredaar Piya Ki shows a 9-year-old boy falling in love with an 18-year-old girl. If that doesn't irk you, this will - He proposes to her, she accepts, they get married and it's followed by a 'suhaag raat' sequence.
And this show is being telecast at 8:30 pm, a prime time for Indian households. This infamous plot line has been criticized right from the start. However, the makers have asked their viewership and the media not to judge the show prematurely, as there is "more" to come.
In an interview to IANS, Tejaswi Prakash drew a comparison between her show and HBO’s hit fantasy drama to put her point across. “It also happened in Game of Thrones. People love Game of Thrones and if the same thing happens in Pehredaar Piya Ki, then it’s an issue,” she added.
The actress was referring to the marriage between Tommen Baratheon (13 years old), and Margaery Tyrell (21 years old). But, the actress failed to realise that Game of Thrones is set in the Middle Ages and child marriage was a common practice at that point in time.
The synopsis of the story on Youtube reads, 'Pehredaar Piya Ki is the story of an unusual marriage between a 9-year-old boy, Ratan Harshvardhan Singh and an 18-year old girl, Diya. Diya sacrifices her own dreams and willfully gets married to Ratan to become his protector. While Diya takes up her duty of a wife and willfully commits to the relationship, Ratan is enamoured by her beauty and considers her to be a pari from the fairy tales he has heard from his Maasa. Though being a miss matched couple, both create a comfortable world for themselves. While 9-year-old husband tries to cheer up his wife Diya with his cute gestures, Diya keeps up the promise to protect him and nurture their relationship. Will Diya and Ratan rewrite the pages of history with their love story? Is age only a number when it comes to finding true love? Watch the unfolding of a beautiful fairy-tale as Pehredaar Piya Ki presents the unique jodi on Indian television.'
Viewers believe that on the show, the couple may have created a comfortable world for themselves, however, in reality, the unique jodi is obnoxious and perverse. The makers of the show have ignored the fact that the show is bordering on child abuse and could influence the impressionable minds of children and adults alike.
There have been TV shows and movies which focused on similar concepts, think Balika Vadhu (Hindi) and New (Tamil), but they didn't focus in depth on the first night and honeymoon bit. Pehredaar Piya Ki concentrates on child-adult romance and it has generated a mixed bag of emotions - Shock, confusion, disgust, outrage and annoyance.
No surprises there!
People who are brimming with emotions after being exposed to this strange and mind-numbing concept have signed a petition to get this show off air.
The Information and Broadcasting Minister, Smriti Irani, has responded to the petition to ban the show by writing to the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council.
Watch the teaser here: