Prakash Jha on Pareeksha’s portrayal of class divide: ‘It eventually boils down to whether you have the money or not’

Filmmaker Prakash Jha, who has made films on education system as well as the caste and class divisions in Indian society, has said that he finds the intention of the new education policy nice. He also added that he hopes to see positive changes in the system in the coming years. The new education policy was announced last week, introducing major changes in the way education system works in the country.

“The intention seems very nice for the new education policy. I liked that the plan includes enriching teachers as well as the education system. The investment plan also sounds good. Rest, I think will be sorted as and when things move. I cannot predict what happens but the intention looks pretty well researched. The salient features I have read about, I find them good and they should help the education system,” Prakash told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview. Prakash Jha’s latest offering, Pareeksha is also about how education is available only for people with money.

Talking about his new project starring Adil Hussain, Priyanka Bose, Shubham and Sanjay Suri, the filmmaker said, “No matter where I set the story in India, caste is a factor that will certainly have a role. But when the question is of education, it eventually boils down to who has the money. The divide is only of haves and have-nots. Only those who have (the means and money) access to education. Today (in times of coronavirus), you can attend online classes if you have smart TV or smartphone at home. But what about those thousands who do not own these? What will they do? How will they get their basic education? So, caste and class divide is actually interlinked. Whether I have managed to make it all visible in the film is something the audience will decide.”

“A rickshaw puller who ferries kids from bungalows, cannot have his own son sit beside the other kids on his own rickshaw. If he does, the son will have to sit on the floor, and that is the reality of our society,” he added about the class divide he has portrayed in his film.

The director was all praises for his entire cast. “In terms of creativity, Adil brings a lot to the table. I do not work with a hard set rule. We held workshops so that we build upon what we have. Each artist on sets brings his own creative inputs – Adil, Priyanka, Shubham and everyone else. The final output is something with everyone’s insight. Adil is a sensitive actor and I enjoyed working with all of them.”

”Our job is to make the film, and give it our best. We have made a personal, endearing film. It will make you laugh and cry, you will also get angry. I will call it an engaging film. Rest, depends on the audience how they receive it finally,” Prakash signed off.

Prakash Jha’s Pareeksha opened Thursday on Zee 5.