With his character ‘Koutilya' in "Chanakya", Dr. Dwivedi surely made his strata of audience but he couldn't justify himself to that cluster of people.
After making "Chanakya" in the year 1990, he chanced upon making of "Ek Aur Mahabharat" but unfortunately he failed alluring eyeballs to that show. Recently he is preparing to appear in television again with another Mahabharata made by Bobby Bedi.
He wishes to introduce his audience with the time, society as well as the conditions of that pre-historical time which still is a mystery hidden available in the Upanishad only.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Q.: Why Mahabharata?
A.: I think one must face bigger challenges, provided he wishes to increase his prowess. And I don't think there should be any bigger challenge than Mahabharata.
It's really challenging to recreate every bit of that time and to relive that point of history. But this is not the first time that I am accepting the challenge. Before that I took the same subject for my "Ek Aur Mahabharat" which couldn't succeed.
That experience taught me that I cannot play with the audience. And this time we are trying hard to get closer to people keeping in mind my previous bitter experience.
Q.: You are one of the most intelligent directors. But at times, you cannot refer the audience as the same. How will you connect your show with such an audience?
A.: I don't want to be remembered after my death. And if I am remembered that should only be for my intellectual creations. I believe in knowing completely about my subject before depicting that for my audience.
I have never seen anyone other than Shyam Benegal (Discovery of India) so dedicated to follow that path. Here people make historical films and shows but they don't even think about how the construction of houses took place or how was the society during Maurya dynasty.
People have tried with Mahabharata earlier also, but they had the same problem with researches. We tried to look at every field of that literature through Upanishad.
I have seen that people depend on imagination while they don't have sufficient material to read. And imagination is also very true if it's implied properly.
Q.: Do you think that the new generation will be able to connect themselves to the content of Mahabharata?
A.: Generation has been changing from the very beginning, but epics are still the same. There's nothing wrong in them.
I think no one should hinder the language from flowing to the next generations. I have faith that our new generation will accept the epic as it was accepted by people of any generation.
Q.: Ekta Kapoor also wishes to make Mahabharata. What would you like to say?
A.: Ekta is really very intelligent. She is one of the most successful names in the television history. I would like to learn from her experience.
Q.: Mahabharata is mainly based on the conflict between religious and unreligious facts. But you want to show its different aspects to your audience which may create obvious conflict. Are you prepared for that?
A.: I don't think there will be any problem regarding my aspects as the base for me is also the Mahabharata of Veda Vyas. And I think every human being has his/her own point of view to look at matters.
I think we can add our own where Mahabharata is silent but doing that we always have to keep our responsibility to the society in mind.
Q.: All the faces in your Mahabharata are new. Do you think they will be able to attract audience?
A.: I think every actor has his or her first day in this industry. And all the actors start their career with some shows. So, differentiating between new and old faces would really unfair. Besides, Mahabharata requires characters, not known actors.
Q.: You were a student of science. How do you personally look at Mahabharata?
A.: I would only say it's ‘incredible'.
Q.: Once you said that you will create seven epics as Kalidas did. Please tell us about that.
A.: Considering "Chanakya", "Pinjar" the film and Mahabharata, three of them are already created and now I have to think of the remaining four.
Recently I am working on a story of 300 BC. I will announce it soon after I am done with that.
Q.: What happened to the film on Prithwiraj Chowhan that you were supposed to make?
A.: Yeah, I was inclined to make a film on that subject, but due to some controversies we had to drop the idea.
The funny part of that is Rajkumar Santoshi also wanted to make a film on the same subject at that time and he also had to drop the idea because of the same controversy. And now none of us intend to start it all over again.
Q.: You wanted to make a show on Ashoka also. What happened to that concept?
A.: You must remember that Prakash Mehra wanted to make that show after "Chanakya" got over. He called me to direct the show. But till that time there were many new channels in the market.
Their appearance completely changed the Quations of Doordarshan. At the same time it was impossible to make the show with the amount of money he offered. So, I rejected the show. Off late I am trying to make it again.
Q.: History affects you lot. What's the reason?
A.: (Smiling) Even I don't know the reason. My friends say that my soul was not salvaged in my last birth and that's why I go back to that time again and again.
Q.: War has completely different facets now. Earlier, there was war for nations only and then it became a matter for states and now it's happening even for racism. What would you like to say?
A.: I want to touch the same matters through Mahabharata.
I want to show people that they cannot win anything by killing others and war has no good aspect at all. It still is a great subject that demands our thought. - Rajnee Gupta