Writer-director Rajeev Barnwal discusses his new series Jehanabad Of Love and War, his most recent movie Vadh, and the caste dynamics that led him to question about surnames in this exclusive conversation with Hindustan Times.

In order to secure a bigger audience for the Sony LIV web series, writer-director Rajeev Barnwal stated that he purposefully avoided utilising the Magahi (a language spoken in Bihar’s Jehanabad region) in his new video series Jehanabad Of Love and War. Rajeev discussed his show while also sharing his personal encounter with caste-based prejudice.

Rajeev spoke openly about the show’s inspiration, caste tensions in the area, blending a love tale with a criminal episode involving a jailbreak, and more in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.

I visited Rajnandgaon (Chattisgarh) in 2005 while working on the first season of the non-fiction television programme Crime Patrol and met a female there who had a fascinating love story. I pondered how the planning must have gone when I read about the Jehanabad jailbreak in newspapers around the same time. I also spent a lot of time with former Naxalites who had joined the police forces while I was working on the show. I did my best to comprehend them. After contemplation in 2005, Sony LIV gave the project the all-clear in 2020.

Shabana Azmi finally watched Vadh, Neena ji, who contacted me only last night, said. She was unable to view it sooner since she was in Budapest filming. Neena ji told me that Shabana ji thoroughly discussed numerous situations with her after watching the movie. I sent Neena ji my gratitude for sharing it with me. It’s wonderful to hear such a talented person appreciate my work. Neena ji and Sanjay Mishra, the principal actors, are what make Vadh what it is. People have been sharing messages around Vadh. Someone from Pakistan told me they loved the film.

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