Ranchi: Like many Hindi film stars, ace film-maker Prakash Jha went to Mumbai in the 70s to try his luck in the film industry with a paltry Rs 300 in his packet.
But Jha decided to go to Mumbai only after failing twice to find a job in Parliament.
“I had nourished a wish to get a job in Parliament because I thought I could work my best (in any capacity) for Parliament. I applied twice, but did not get. Then I went to Mumbai with only Rs 300 in my pocket”, says noted Bollywood director Prakash Jha.
Three decades later and the wish to enter Parliament still burning bright, the producer-director-screen writer contested from his native West Champaran in 2004 and 2009
general elections, but failed to beat the Nitish Kumar wave both times.
Interacting with scribes, the maker of such fine films as `Gangaajal` and `Apaharan` said he had no penchant to be in active politics now.
“I have never been in active politics. You have never seen me in any political forum, nor endorsing any political party’s ideology. I contested Lok Sabha elections because I had a wish to work for Parliament”, says Jha who shot into fame with `Damul` in 1984.
The same year he caught the imagination of film-goers when he got the National Film Award for a documentary `Faces After the Storm`.
Since then he made several notable movies like ‘Mrityudand’ (1997), ‘Gangajaal’ (2003) and Rajneeti (1997), and is waiting for the response for his new film ‘Aarakshan’ scheduled to release on August 12.
“When I went to Mumbai, there was neither any house to stay nor any known person to whom I can turn for help. And I started my work”, reveals Jha, who is involved with
development work in Bihar through his NGO `Anubhooti`.
Jha paid his tribute to Shyam Benegal, saying, ``Benegal is a great film-maker and I don?t stand anywhere near him”.
Asked why Hollywood films dominated the recent international film festival in Goa, Jha said it was not right to form opinion and makes comparison by viewing just a few
`good` Hollywood films.
``We have to keep in mind that we saw only good films out of 100s that are made in Hollywood. We here in India have also 10 to 12 very good film-makers, specially in the south where the narratives are good,`` he defended.
Jha says he doesn`t agree that his work or any other Indian film-maker`s work is inferior to any Hollywood film-maker.
“Even now Hindi films are in demand in our country, and Telugu and Tamil films also run successfully....how many Hollywood films are running in our country?”
He, however, acknowledged that good film directors on social movies were on the wane because of market pressure and that screen play required more attention.
“I am trying to make films on real social issues and I am thinking to make a film on the issue of corruption. If I do one, first I will try to understand the equations (of corruption) at the root”, he said.
He said corruption was `everywhere` and took a great leap in the last one or two decades. It was only after the economic liberalisation that it suddenly came to notice.