EXCLUSIVE: Ravi Dubey: NO time for favoritism on TV; It is one industry which embraces without prejudice

Hitting out at how our obsession with numbers can sometimes kill creativity, Ravi Dubey opened up on his single Aankde. He spoke to Pinkvilla exclusively about the need to shed perspective on numbers, and the debate over favouritism in the television industry. Read.
EXCLUSIVE: Ravi Dubey: NO time for favoritism on TV; It is one industry which embraces without prejudiceEXCLUSIVE: Ravi Dubey: NO time for favoritism on TV; It is one industry which embraces without prejudice

Ravi Dubey has been a trailblazer in his own way. The actor managed to stir meaningful conversation with his recently released single Aankde which means numbers. Hitting out at how our obsession with numbers can sometimes kill creativity, Ravi spoke to Pinkvilla exclusively about the need to shed perspective on numbers, that stardom is a perk and not the be-all and end-all and the debate over favouritism in the television industry. Over to him:

What inspired you to write and record Aankde?

Collectively, we are going through a varsity of experiences right now. At this time, we reflect on our own lives as well, as an artist, so many times you bounce back from that one deadlock. Having said that, I was reflecting, and if I trace it down to that one element which kind of hits a pause button on everything that is creative, or which can undermine everything that is creatives it is this obsession with numbers and the lens that it gives you. Once you start to measure everything with the lense of numbers, then creativity gets lost. I sometimes come across some amazing work by artists which perhaps doesn’t get the views but is fantastic; however, it fails to meet the conventional millions and billions. 

This obsession with numbers has definitely hit a pause button for many careers. Did you ever face that?

We are always on that journey. I believe that if you don’t want any pause in your career, it will never happen. If you leave the reigns of your career in someone else’s hands, then you give them the power to hit a pause or play. I remember watching an interview of Ayushmann  Khurrana after Hawaizaada wherein he said that if things don’t work out, he will tell his own stories, he just needs a camera to do that. So it all depends on the intention, will to do what you want. Today, it's very regressive thinking if we think that anybody can make us do what we don’t want. You take charge today. 

Also Read: Ravi Dubey opens up about what inspired him to write a poem titled ‘Aankde’

Do you believe a change will finally come especially with all the discussions today?

Rome was not built in a day and anything that is morphs is and will change an industry and society, it won’t happen overnight. I think it is a start to a change. Maybe in a period of a few years, there will be a change. I am not saying the obsession with numbers will change in a day, but it is true that somewhere one limits themselves because of this number game. But when I feel so strongly about something, I just put it out there. 

Do you fear backlash while pointing out something as important as this? What if people take it otherwise?

I don’t believe in raising my voice to be heard. I feel that something, when articulated well and presented, has more impact. Also, I would fear backlash if what I have conveyed wasn’t everyone’s story out there. Irrespective of what field you are in the numbers have somehow blocked you, in your initial days. I keep hearing about Mr Bachchan also, that so many people rejected him before he became this megastar. If you go back in time and see him through the lens of those people, they wouldn’t believe it. Same with Shah Rukh Khan. It is all about not equating your self worth to a mere number, at the end of the day. 

I see so many youngsters who want to do good work because they want to be successful. Most of them don’t want to do good work for the sheer joy of it
Ravi Dubey

I was speaking to many artists recently and many mentioned that it is very important to be clear if you enter the industry for the sheer joy of working or for attaining stardom, do you agree?

Absolutely, I agree with that. I think we all enter the industry for the sheer joy for cinema and art; however, these numbers are worse than Coronavirus for the entertainment industry. The number multiples so much that it sets a perspective outside which kills the joy. I see so many youngsters who want to do good work because they want to be successful. Most of them don’t want to do good work for the sheer joy of it. There was a time that when people would want to enter the industry not because they were enamoured by the glitz and glamour but because they loved the work, the art, the way they engage public and not really by the success of the actor. 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ravi Dubey 1 (@ravidubey2312) on

At this point, I would like to know from you if you have ever seen favouritism in the television industry, as pointed out by few recently?

I would like to defend the TV industry here because I feel TV is one industry that has a very big heart and which embraces everyone without any prejudice or discrimination. Of course, it has its own challenges but favouritism is not something I have witnessed. The reason I am saying is the deadline-centric medium that TV is, the right casting is extremely important. There is no time for favouritism on TV. All of us have worked through the process of auditions, more auditions, and finally crack something and struggle. Pick anyone on television, all of them are outsiders. There is not a single one, rarely you will see anyone who belongs to a certain family. From top to middle, everyone has come from different backgrounds, tv has embraced them and made them stars, relevant actors. I have every bit of whoever I am, I have television to thank for. I feel a lot of people look down upon TV, and sadly mostly from our industry itself, they don’t give it the due regards. It is unfortunate because it is the only medium that embraces without prejudice. 

Pick anyone on television, all of them are outsiders. There is not a single one, rarely you will see anyone who belongs to a certain family
Ravi Dubey

Do you feel there is a certain level of disdain when it comes to actors who have worked on TV make a shift to films?

It is a reality that every time an outsider is given a chance to prove their work, it has always taken the industry ahead by leaps and bounds. There is SRK, Ayushmann, Sushant Singh Rajput, they have all proven it. In fact, Sushant had been one of the crusaders for it and gave us all more strength. Struggles are there but it always leaves you with some kind of skill set. So, I will be honest, things have not come to me easily but I welcome all the crises because it makes things evolve. 

Times are changing, and honestly, I feel the sooner we lose that obsession of getting validation only from a certain medium, the better for us. We are very capable of excelling in whatever work we do. It is a flaw in our perception that we consider one medium big and another smaller. That is a flaw in our perspective. I think the lens with which we should actually see is if it is good or bad and not with numbers alone.

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