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Commando 2 is not about demonetisation, it is about black money lying in foreign banks: Deven Bhojani

Deven Bhojani
Deven Bhojani

Deven Bhojani made his television debut as an actor in 1987 with the famous television show Malgudi Days. Over the last three decades, he has gained immense popularity as a comic actor in films and on television. While he appeared in films like Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar (1992), Andaz (1994) and Agneepath (2012), his roles in television shows like Dekh Bhai Dekh (1993), Shriman Shrimati (1994), Baa Bahoo Aur Baby (2005), etc., are still fondly remembered.

His 2004 television show Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, as a director, that redefined comedy, still remains one of the most popular shows in the history of Indian television. Deven is now all set to make his film directorial debut with Bollywood action movie Commando 2, which is slated to release on March 3, 2017. In an exclusive interview with Nation Next, Deven Bhojani speaks about the upcoming film Commando 2, his rapport with the Commando 2s producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah and also reveals the path ahead for Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai.

Excerpts:

Your first film as a director  – Commando 2 – is going to be released soon. How excited are you? 

I can’t express how excited I’m! This is definitely a new step in my life. I started my career as an actor. I have been into direction  (on television) for more than 15 years. Despite having worked in various genres on TV, I am still recognised more as a comic actor than a director. This is my first feature film as a director, so I’m pretty excited. Also, this genre (action) is out of my comfort zone.

Given the fact that Commando (2013) did well at the Box Office and its sequel Commando 2 is your first film as a director, was there any pressure on you while directing the movie? Is there any pressure on you now before the release of the film?

I did not feel pressurised comparing Commando 2 with its prequel. Having said that, whenever I work on any project, I feel pressurised. This is definitely a feature film, which matters to me big time as crores of rupees are involved.  Apart from money, many other things are at stake. Since this is my first film as a director, my career could be at stake as well. So, there’s always that pressure. But, the moment I get involved in the creative process, I forget everything and get fully involved in it. I’m the kind of a person who’s known more for the passion and perfection in my work. So, since the time I gave thumbs up for this film, I got completely involved in it. I did a lot of research, worked on the script with the writer for more than a year, and forgot the pressure completely. But then again, once the film is made, you feel the pressure again. The response to the trailer has been overwhelming and that makes it all the more pressurising.

You share an extremely strong bond with Vipul Amrutlal Shah who’s the producer of Commando 2. You have worked with him before as well for television. How was it working with him as the producer of this film? 

It was superb! Vipul and I are like brothers and we share a great comfort zone since we know each other really well. I would really like to thank Vipul for trusting me. I think hes aware of my capabilities more than I am. As a producer, he has quite a few action movies with different directors and so hes experienced. This enables him to give good suggestions to me. Of course, there were ?creative differences between the two of us, which were very healthy. But then, eventually, either I convinced him or he convinced me. If I didn’t get convinced, he respected me as a director and allowed me to take the final call. He does that because he’s a righteous person. He chose me as the captain of his ship. So, he respects my vision. Vipul is someone who gives you a lot of liberty, something, which I really love about him. As a producer, he has given me everything. With Commando 2, I wanted to set a new benchmark for Indian action movies and make a movie on a large scale. We have shot most of the film in Thailand and Malaysia and there’s also a lot of glamour in the movie. These are the things I wanted. So, even though Commando 2 initially began with a low budget, it ended up with a heavy budget. So, that’s the liberty Vipul gave me. He stood by my vision.

You tend to work repeatedly with people. Be it actors like Sumit Raghavan or producers like Vipul Shah, JD Majethia or Aatish Kapadia. Is it because you prefer comfort over experimentation? 

Yes, of course! I work more with my own group of people because we have known each other for long now. So, that comfort level is there. But primarily, it’s the project and the creativity that lures me. For instance, I have worked in television with different people – be it Raman Kumar, Asit Modi, etc. Recently, I directed a TV show – Sumit Samabhal Lega – with the creative unit DJ. So, I have to like the project and the script first and I should able to contribute enough to the project. I should feel inspired and should love the project that I’m a part of. Fortunately, I have always loved the projects JD and Vipul came up with.

In the movie Commando 2, the protagonist is on a mission to eradicate black money. Against the backdrop of the recently announced demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, do you think the movie will now appeal more to the moviegoers 

To be honest, we started working on the script more than a year back. But, it is a great co-incidence that demonetisation took place and has become a national issue. We were brainstorming on various subjects for Commando 2 and one of the subjects, which appealed to us, was black money. The PM had promised to eradicate black money and it became a big issue during the 2014 elections. So, while discussing, we happened to remember that and we thought of trying to work in the same direction. We decided to include the issue of black money in the story line and asked the writer to develop the story further. He developed it and we improvised on it. Commando 2 has nothing to do with demonetisation though. It is basically about black money lying in foreign banks.

You have been mostly associated with projects of comedy genre. So, there must have been a lot of research that went in for Commando 2 from your side?

As an actor, people recognise me as a comic actor. But, as a director, I have worked in various genres. Along with comedy, I have also been involved in family soaps, love stories and action drama as well. Two years back, I directed Pukaar starring Rannvijay Singh, which was an action drama (mini series). So, it’s not like action was a new genre to me. I’m a very passionate person and a typical Virgo. My friends sometimes even tease me by saying, Are tujhe bahut perfection chahiye hota hain, bas abhi bas, chhod, correct hain abhi! I don’t okay takes very easily as I get too involved as an actor or as a director. For Commando 2 as well, I got involved at various levels, be it be scripting, discussing or brainstorming.

Comedy is more about timing and action is more about technique. Which genre do you find difficult to implement? 

That way I would say that everything is difficult. Comedy is not easy and so is not action! In Commando 2, Vidyut Jammwal has performed some breathtaking and life threatening stunts. With action, life is sometimes at risk and a lot of practice goes into it. For Commando 2, we roped in an action director from South Africa. He along with his team would work some things out and then would send it across to us through phone. Then, our team would zero in on what can work out and what can’t and the variations, which can be brought in. Vidyut’s contribution was immense in this. And of course, the action director and Vipul too would give valuable suggestions. So, that’s how the entire action part worked out. Vidyut was very good to work with. He’s extremely down to earth and hardworking. He’s super passionate and I like such people who try to attain perfection. People would also be surprised to know that Vidyut can dance well too!

You last acted in Agneepath in 2012 wherein you played the role of an autistic man Azhar Lala. Your performance was widely appreciated. When will we see you acting in some movie again?

That I don’t know. I never plan my life and I just go with the flow. When this role (Azhar Lala) was offered to me, I was extremely tied up. So, I was avoiding acting in films then. But then, the makers were keen to cast me for this role. Even I liked the role. The makers were even ready to adjust according to my dates! So, then I thought that I hadn’t done a film since long and I should give it a shot. It was a small but a good role and I had good people to work with. If something very substantive comes up, I might take up the role.

It was reported that the popular Indian television series – Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai – which you directed would be back online. When can the fans expect it?

I’m really thankful to the audience who have loved Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai for so many years and who are dying to see it again. So yes, something is in the pipeline now. The show would be online. The talks are on with the producers and other concerned parties.

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Nagpur News

December 02, 2022 | Nagpur News | नागपुर समाचार | Hindi News Bulletin | Nation Next

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Avani Arya | Nagpur

Nation Next Nagpur Bulletin brings to you a summary of major news events that took place in Nagpur on December 02, 2022.

1. गुरुवार को शहर के सुपारी व्यापारियों के यहां ed की raid पड़ने की वजह से कई बातें सामने आयी है. शुक्रवार 30 दिसंबर को मिली जानकारी के अनुसार सुपारी व्यापारियों  के मामले में एक बड़ा ‘smuglling racket ‘ नागपूर में active होने की खबर के बाद ed ने नागपुर के बाद मुंबई में भी कार्रवाई की.नागपुर के सुपारी व्यापारियों के पास  से  cash , properties के documents और हवाला कारोबार से जुडी information भी ed को इसमें मिली है. इसको देखते हुए अब सुपारी व्यापारियों पर foreign exchange management एक्ट के तहत कार्रवाई की जा सकती है. बताया जा रहा है कि जो documents ed को इन लोगों से मिले है, इससे यह लोग अब gst और income tax department के राडार पर आ गए और इनपर इन दोनों department की भी कार्रवाई हो सकती है. जानकारी  यह भी निकलकर आयी है की जिन सुपारी व्यापारियों  के यहां raid हुई है उनको और उनसे related लोगों को भी मुंबई investigation के लिए बुलाया गया है.

2. नागपुर -मुंबई समृद्दि expressway के नागपुर -शिर्डी के 520 किलोमीटर के first फेज का उद्घाटन pm नरेंद्र मोदी के हाथों 11 दिसंबर को होनेवाला है. pm के दौरे की तारीख सामने आते ही security agencies और district administration alert हो गया है. security reasons को लेकर समृद्धि expressway का नागपुर का ‘entry point ‘ बंद कर दिया गया है. नागपुर के गुमगांव के खड़का से समृद्धि expressway की शुरुवात होती है. expressway पर कोई भी सीधे न आ पाए, इसके लिए टिन के पत्रे लगाए गए है. pm के आने के बाद यहां पर कार्यक्रम भी होगा, जिसके लिए 15 हजार लोग बैठ सके, ऐसे डोम की व्यवस्था की गई है.  इस  उद्घाटन कार्यक्रम की तैयारियां पुरे जोर -शोर से चल रही है.

3. RSS के headquarter और रेशमबाग के भट्ट सभागृह को उड़ाने की धमकी वाला पुलिस को एक लेटर पिछले हफ्ते मिला था, जिसके कारण पुलिस department में हलचल मच गई थी. इस letter को लेकर पुलिस ने investigation शुरू की ओर 1 दिसंबर को एक आरोपी को  हिरासत में लिया है. जानकारी के अनुसार यह व्यक्ति सरकारी कंपनी में इंजीनियर है. यह letter सक्करदरा पुलिस को मिला था. बताया जा रहा की आरोपी इंजीनियर की मेन्टल health ठीक नहीं है. Additional Police Commissioner Navinchandra Reddy ने इसपर कहा कि आरोपी नहीं चाहता था कि आनेवाला कार्यक्रम भट्ट सभागृह में हो, इसके लिए ही उसने सब किया है. आरोपी से पुलिस investigation कर रही है.

4. पहले महाराष्ट्र के governer , फिर भाजपा के national spokesperson ने छत्रपति शिवाजी महाराज पर विवादित बयान दिए, जिसके बाद काफी हंगामा हुआ. यह हंगामा अभी थमा ही नहीं था कि अब भाजपा के state minister मंगल प्रभात लोढ़ा ने भी छत्रपति शिवाजी महाराज को लेकर विवादित बयान दिया है. इस बयान को लेकर गुरुवार 1 दिसंबर को  नागपुर में छत्रपति शिवाजी महाराज के वंशज श्रीमंत डॉ. राजे मुधोजी भोंसले ने इस पूरे मामले में अपनी नाराजगी जताते हुए मुख्यमंत्री एकनाथ शिंदे को letter  लिखकर मंत्री मंगल प्रभात लोढ़ा का resignation लेने की मांग की है. डॉ.राजे मुधोजी ने अपने इस लेटर में लिखा है कि शिवाजी महाराज को लेकर पहले governer, फिर भाजपा के spokeperson के बाद अब minister मंगल प्रभात लोढ़ा ने विवादित बयान दिया है, इसके लिए minister से resignation लेकर यह message दे की राज्य की जनता महाराज का अपमान सहन नहीं करेगी. राजे भोसले ने कहा कि इसको लेकर वे राष्ट्रपति, प्रधानमंत्री और भाजपा के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष को भी letter भेजेंगे. उन्होंने deputy cm फडणवीस से भी minister के resignation की मांग की है.

5. नागपुर में लगातार कचरे को लेकर कार्रवाई की जा रही है. nagpur muncipal corporation की nds की ओर से शहर में गन्दगी फैलानेवालों पर नजर रखी जा रही है. इसी के तहत गुरुवार 1 दिसंबर को सड़क के किनारें खाने का कचरा फेंकने पर बजाजनगर के श्री गणेश गार्डन lawn पर 50 हजार का fine लगाया गया और nds की टीम ने  owner से 50 हजार रुपए वसूल भी किए है. सभी लोगों पर अलग -अलग fine की कार्रवाई की जा रही है. जिसमें शहर में  कई ऐसे  Institutes थे, जिनपर 50 हजार रुपए का fine लगाया गया है.

Script by – Shamanand Tayde

Also Watch: December 01, 2022 | Nagpur News | नागपुर समाचार | Hindi News Bulletin | Nation Next

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Governance

Dharavi redevelopment to have dedicated areas for manufacturing: Devendra Fadnavis

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi redevelopment will have dedicated areas for manufacturing…

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

Devendra Fadnavis

The Mah Deputy CM says that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

As Dharavi redevelopment has been announced, doubts were raised on whether this locally evolved entrepreneurial hub will retain its spirit.  In a chat on Sansad TV with Sanjeev Sanyal, Member, PM’s Economic Advisory Council and a writer, on an Economic Sutra episode telecast on Nov 6, the Deputy Chief Minister had made it very clear how he foresees the future of Dharavi and Mumbai.

Saying that his government worked on clearing all the bottlenecks, he adds, “We understood that unless we have a place to rehabilitate people, which is nearby Dharavi, this project will not take off. We found out that there is around 42 acres of land which belongs to the Railways. We approached the Central Government and told them that we’ll free up your land. We’ll buy your land and we’ll give you a share in the profit and we entered into a definitive agreement and now they have handed it over to us.”

“The Dharavi Redevelopment project will be the most unique project ever done. In fact, this redevelopment was visualized by none other than Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 but nothing happened – until 2014 when Modiji came and we started governing Maharashtra. The redevelopment will be no less beautiful than BKC. Dharavi is just not a slum but it’s also a great manufacturing cluster, so what we did was that while planning this scheme we have created areas for this entire manufacturing industry along with planning for the rehabilitation of the people. Right now, this entire manufacturing sector is informal, but after this and over time they will come into the formal sector.”

Watch the full interaction here: https://youtu.be/FNeTrm0v0dw

Also, with Mumbai undergoing so many infrastructural changes, questions have been raised about retaining the quintessential character of “aamchi Mumbai,” which apart from being the financial capital of India is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant cities.

Speaking on the land issues, Fadnavis says, “The usable space in Mumbai is very little. It has length, but has limitations on the breadth so taking into consideration all these problems we wanted to design a very robust system for Mumbai for commuters and for vehicles. That’s why the all the new Coastal Road, which will decongest the western side of Mumbai. It will be a ring road type structure along the coast and this Western Expressway carries 60 percent of the Mumbai traffic right, so all that traffic will be mostly accommodated here.”

Commuting in Mumbai is a killer and every day Mumbaikars spend a lot of time on travel. Saying that he wants to reduce travel within Mumbai from anywhere to anywhere to an hour, Fadnavis explains, “Our Metro three is a very unique 40 kilometers of underground Network, which will be the lifeline of Mumbai. It is estimated to carry around 1.7 million passengers per day! All this work will be finished in two or three years and I want that from any place to any place in Mumbai one should reach within less than one hour – that is the planning. We are also trying to integrate the transportation system. Right now, our Suburban Railway is the lifeline of Mumbai. This Suburban Railway carries around 9 million passengers. The new Metro Network which we are creating will be carrying around 7 million or 8 million passengers, almost doubling the current number.”

Adding to this, the Deputy CM says that the 22 kilometers of Sea Bridge that will connect us to the hinterland, “so we have Mumbai, we have new Mumbai and that will be the third Mumbai that will be a land mass which will be bigger than Mumbai with new Mumbai airport. I think the future growth of Mumbai is on that side!”

Also read: Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Governance

Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm…

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm.

Dharavi

Is squalor for cameras, money more important than dignified living for the residents…  

Former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy’s Dharavi comments kicked off a storm when he said on Twitter that Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, ‘is not actually a slum but a tribute to the great entrepreneurial spirit of the weakest and smallest person fighting for his or her livelihood in Mumbai. It is also a model in collective coexistence in one of the toughest cities in the world, where nothing else matters. Not caste. Not faith. Not where you come from. But trust and togetherness.’

While this may be true, what is equally true is the squalor and subhuman conditions that reign supreme in this slum. Netizens felt that Nandy, by romanticizing poverty in this manner, was only feeding poverty porn and tourism. Nandy clarified that he was seeking to keep the spirit of Dharavi alive by “researching the architectural grammar, the cultural history that builds integrated and interdependent societies like Dharavi that have survived and flourished over decades and make that the base for the new redevelopment plans. Not just look at the future but also build in the past.”

The Maharashtra Government had on November 29, opened the financial bids for Dharavi redevelopment project.  While 3 companies Adani Realty, DLF and Naman Group had submitted bids, the Adani Group clinched the project with a INR 5,069-crore bid. The timeline for the entire redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, might take close to 17 years, the rehabilitation of slum dwellers should be complete in seven years. 

Also read: Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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