New Delhi: Popular television actor Gajendra Chauhan, who has been roped in to play the role of Lord Shiva in Ram Lila celebrations here, regrets the ongoing controversy over his appointment as the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman and the students agitation over the same.
Speaking to The Time of India, the actor, whose FTII job has led to an epic confrontation between the government and the students of premiere institute, said on Tuesday that he rightfully deserves a chances to prove his worth and his potential should not be judged on the basis of his past.
As he got ready to rehearse as Lord Shiva, Chauhan said, "Here I am, dressed as Lord Shiva about to enter the stage, but all the questions by journalists waiting outside my van will be about FTII."
Chauhan, with a rudraksha necklace around his neck, acknowledged that he is someone who is both in and out of a job.
"I want to work, but am not allowed to. I have been assigned a task but cannot carry it out," he said.
During the conversation, he also recalled his journey some 34 years back from Delhi's Ramjas School to the Ramlila stage during which he saw many ups and downs and also portrayed the role of Yudhisthir - one of the most popular characters in one of the longest running Indian TV serial 'Mahabharata'.
Chauhan also recalled that in his initial days of struggle, he had no choice but to grab whatever opportunities came in his way. The actor was hinting to the number of A-rated movies and nearly 700 television serials he was part of.
Chauhan, however, rued that despite a plenty of work he was being downgraded as a B-grade actor with a handful of adult movies to his credit.
"When I was appointed the FTII chairman people suddenly started judging my entire career on some A-rated movies that I had done," he was quoted as saying.
"No one talked of my roles in blockbusters movies such as 'Barsaat', 'Andaaz' and 'Baghbaan' or the close to 700 television serials I acted in,” he added saying, “ Allow me to fulfil my responsibility and then judge if I am a failure or not."
Driving his point home, Chauhan said "an actor is just an actor, he is never A- or B-grade."
"Don't judge people's potential from their past or present," he said while also pleading, "A tea seller would have never become a Prime Minister or a newspaper vendor, a President had they been judged by their past."
Chauhan maintained that he has nothing to hide or be ashamed of.
On his criticism for agreeing to be part of Ram Lila – something which derides his claims about his status as a film star, Chauhan with an enigmatic smile. "It is good to play God among humans occasionally."