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    Feb 2010


    Post TV celebs share their thoughts on International Labour Day

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    When you watch the beautiful Taj Mahal of Agra, you always wonder about the love Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had for his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. But have you ever spared a thought about the thousands of workers and artisans who toiled for 20 long years to build this monument of love. And why are we making this reference? Well, yesterday (1 May 2012) the world is celebrating International Labour Day which is an attempt to recognize the hard work put in by millions of faceless labourers all across the globe. Technicians of our very own TV world are also off work today and are spending some quality time with their families and loved ones.

    Furthermore, we caught up with some of your favourite television actors and asked them to share their thoughts on the condition of labour in our industry. Rohit Roy, who has returned to fiction with Sajda Tere Pyar Mein said, “I strongly believe that the 12 hour shift is too much (it was worse before). Ideally a shift should not be more then 9/10 hours for the workers who form the critical back end of our work process i.e. lighting, production work, anyways report to work an hour early and plus leave the sets last. Add to this the long travelling hours, as our sets are now quite far from the city, so these poor guys don’t have any time for rest and recreation. I am sure if all the stakeholders get together and agree to reduce work hours to 10, then these guys will work much better and the final output will also be benefited.”

    Eijaz Khan (Shubh Vivah) put on a thinking cap and opined, “Considering that I am more of a leftist than a capitalist, this is a red mark on my psychological calendar. 1st May is celebrated as the International Labour Day as well as the Maharashtra Day. It is important to emphasize to the system that who actually turns the wheels of progress. As an actor, I really feel like one of the labourers. Yes, we have our perks but we work in the same conditions as the lowest common denominator. I actually connect with the working class more than the economically blessed.” He further lamented the absence of safety protocols and social security net for small screen workers.

    On the other hand, Krystle Dsouza (Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai) said, “Compared to other industries we deal with our labour workforce in a more organized and humane way and they have unions to solve issues which need attention.” Personally, she has no problems with the twelve-hour shift as, “that is price we pay for stardom.”

    Barun Sobti (Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon) cannot understand the entire logic of a day off, “What will a holiday achieve when most labour laws are not followed?” The smart looking actor also said that the reason for exploitation of labour is the very tough daily schedule “so the only solution would be is to end dailies and start weeklies.”

    Hmm…we get it, Barun. Moving on, Karan Wahi (Kuch Toh Log Kahenge) and Sukirti Kandpal both try to go out of their way in trying to make their respective units happy. Sukirti is going to treat her unit guys this Labour Day. She said, “It is basically our Indian cultural mindset that makes us look down on workers and sadly, even my brother does the same. We need to understand that the kind of behavior which we find unacceptable from others is something we should refrain from doing ourselves as well.” On the other hand, Karan added, “We just need to be sweet and polite to these guys who are toiling day and night so our end product comes out well. on 29 April 2012, Kritika Kamra (Kuch Toh’s female lead) ordered pizzas for the entire unit and the happiness was seen on everyone’s faces.”

    Finally, Shaheer Sheikh ended by sharing his thoughts, “We, as society, have moved on. Remember there was a time when an entire class of people was regarded as untouchables, but now things are different. I am too small as of now to suggest any changes but yes, the common rule of ‘give love to all’ must apply across the board.”



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