During Waves 2018, we got a chance to talk to Mr. Raghu Ram who was representing Arre in Y’Clave 2018 panel. We talked about his journey, his political views and how reality TV affect audience in general. Watch his interview here:
DoJMA: Sir, you have pursued a very successful career in reality TV but before that you have also tried your hand in stand up comedy and music.
Do you have any regrets about the direction your career has taken? Do you think you would have been more satisfied with stand up comedy or music?
Raghu: I did not do stand up, I only did the AIB roast because they asked me to do it.I thought it was an interesting and ‘ballzy’ move, it was courageous to do it at that time. I did not go there as a stand up comedian, I went there as myself. Therefore I don’t think I can do comedy and that’s something I won’t try. Coming to music, I think there is music and dance in everybody, especially Indians. It’s not that I am trying my hand in it, I am expressing myself. Most of the songs that you are talking about are theme songs for my show ‘Roadies’. So I don’t think of it as a career choice but rather as a personality trait. It’s an artist expressing and sharing his thoughts with the world. This is what I try to do in everything including my reality shows.This is the philosophy I believe in, I try to express in my work. I don’t regret any of it and would try to do it as much as I can.
DoJMA: You have always been questioned for your short temper on and off the shows. Do you think you were a little harsh on the contestants?
Raghu: Yeah, I do think so. There was one season of the show in particular, Season 8, in which, I think, I was a bit harsh on some contestants. Luckily for me, many contestants came back for Season 9 and Season 10, and therefore, I had the opportunity to apologize to them. I made sure that I apologized to them on camera and made it a part of the episode. I don’t believe that if you have done something wrong in public, you apologize in private and get over with it. You should do it on the same platform and I am glad that I did it.
DoJMA: What do you think about reality TV today? I think reality TV does impact a lot of the youth. I think it changes their perception of the world, do you think there should be any change in the current scenario of reality TV?
Raghu: I will tell you two things. I don’t think reality TV necessarily affects people, especially the youth. I don’t think Splitsvilla or Bigg Boss teach you anything.The auditions of Regards have become a platform to discuss issues which one can’t discuss otherwise. I think that has influenced the thinking of a lot of people. The winner of Miss Waves, Himanshi, said that she gets her confidence from me. I do think the importance of confidence has been showcased by my work, but not every reality show does that. I don’t think there should be any pressure on reality shows to teach. They do not teach moral values.
DoJMA: Initially you were quite apolitical, but lately you have been seen endorsing some parties. How did this transformation occur?
Raghu: One is the extension of the other. All these years, in the Roadies auditions, I have been talking about a philosophy about standing against the authority. When the revolution started in 2012, when kids gave up their jobs, professors and people from corporate sectors came out and started hitting the streets;
I realised that now is the time to walk the talk. I cannot talk like that and sit at home, so I jumped in as well. I am little out of that currently because I think there is a lot happening.I don’t want to be identified with a political ideology and I want to focus more on my work. Yes, I did that. I did whatever I believed in.
DoJMA: Would you recommend reality TV as a way to enter into entertainment business to other youth?
Raghu: Reality television today casts actors and celebs mostly. I think it’s better if people with a flair for acting go and audition for roles instead of coming to reality shows. In reality shows, we don’t look for acting skills,we look for interesting factors in a person’s personality, which is irrelevant to acting. A lot of actors who you like watching are ‘damn boring’ when you meet them. So I would not recommend reality shows as a way to enter TV. Rather, I would ask them to audition for roles in soaps and movies.
Edited for reader’s convenience