From the late 1970s until the early 1990s, Jaya Prada was a personality to reckon with both in Bollywood and in regional films. She left the film industry at the peak of her career to join politics. She entered the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1994 but following differences with the TDP head Chandrababu Naidu, Jaya left TDP and joined the Samajwadi Party. Contesting from the Rampur Parliamentary Constituency in UP, she was elected a Member of Parliament, a tenure that was rather testing in her life. She’s been a BJP party member since March 2019.
But through her political tenure and all her struggles in the field, especially in UP, she tells us how films will remain something she does until her last breath. Jaya Prada has been in Delhi, busy preparing to venture into the OTT platform, in which she would play a dual role — as a producer and an actor with a pivotal role in the film.
Jaya Prada confirms the news. “Yes, we are planning a film on the OTT platform and though I am currently in Delhi, I will be in Mumbai soon,” she states.
A new beginning
Giving us a sneak peek about the new project, Jaya says that they plan to launch this Hindi-language project sometime in the end of January 2021. “I cannot yet reveal its title as we’re still to announce it,” she clarifies. “However, the project revolves around the revolution movement, back in the British Era, to free India. At the moment all I can reveal about my role is that I play a patriotic leader of a particular cadre, and I am happy I am doing it.”
Of course, Jaya, like many others before her, is in awe of OTT platforms. Citing an example of the Amitabh-Bachchan film, Gulabo Sitabo, directed by Soojit Sircar, she asserts that the advent of digital platforms has opened up a road for all in the industry. “It’s a boon, and the platform is a leveller, for both big and small players. Moreover, audiences who may not have been able to afford expensive theatre tickets can now watch it on the digital platform. Also, not only new comers but also senior actors have started getting back to work through this platform,” she adds.
300 and strong
Digital platform and its potentials aside, Jaya is keenly looking forward to the opening of cinema halls and theatres. “Gradually, we will all get accustomed to the new changes around the new normal. But for now, the opening of theatres is a welcome decision. A huge number of distributors and exhibitors depend on the theatres for their income. It’s good that the theatres are opening with the new norms on seating arrangements keeping in mind the social distancing etc.”
As we wrap up the interaction, Jaya shares her views about her love for films as well as struggles in the political arena.
“Even while rendering my service in politics, I worked honestly. I’ve received love in both politics and filmdom. I was abused by certain political leaders even though the janta loved me. And while I have not yet decided to leave politics, I am an actor rearing towards 300 films and proud to be a part of the film industry. I have been privileged to be on a high pedestal and am still getting offers, which feels like a blessing. With the immense support of the people I can wholeheartedly say that I am here to stay until my last breath,” she concludes.