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Prachee Shah Pandya Speaks Up On Boycott Culture, Says ‘Social Media Needs To Be Used Wisely’

With a career spanning over 2 decades, actress Prachee Shah Pandya’s prowess as an actress and dancer is widely loved and appreciated, be it television or films. The 44-year-old talented beauty feels accomplished and humbled to explore every medium of entertainment and has consciously kept up to the viewing demands of audience today and moved to the OTT space today. With her first OTT film being Chhatriwali, the actress says she’s happy to be part of projects that talk about important subjects and create awareness among the masses.

In an exclusive conversation with News18 Showsha, the actress opened up on her biggest takeaways from the project, revisited her journey in showbiz and expressed her opinion on the ongoing boycott and cancel culture.

When asked what was her biggest takeaway from Chhatriwali, the actress shared, “The fact that I could be a part of a film which talks about such an important topic, which has not really been openly discussed. It was a huge reason why I said yes to project.” She added, “My character of Nisha Bhabi represents a whole lot of women here in our country, who refuse to address the issue, refuse to talk about it. So I of course, feel very privileged and honoured to be a part of the film in a way that can bring about a very important message.”

The actress shared that the response has been overwhelming and there’s love and appreciation from everywhere. “In the last couple of weeks, I have also travelled a lot. At the airports, in another city, like when I was in Bangalore, people who don’t know me, have come up to me with so many compliments. It was a very genuine, honest reaction. So that kind of was definitely very gratifying.”

We asked Prachee if she misses being on television soaps, as she was a prominent face in serials like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kayamath. The actress shared, “I wouldn’t say I have quit TV, it’s just that probably I’ve done so much of it, that the last five years, I felt like I needed to grow, and I needed to work with bigger directors and better directors and of course, senior actors who I’ve always aspired to be with.”

She added, “I have done television for almost a decade, where I kind of felt so saturated after a point, that I had to step back. Yes, I agree it taught me a lot and has given me my identity. And I’m still open to doing television, provided it’s a progressive show.”

When asked about her journey in the OTT space, the actress shared that she is yet to find her ground here. She added that she’s trying her best to be known as an actress who’s versatile on all platforms. “I’m still about bridging that gap and want the audience and directors to look at me as an actress and not slot me as a TV or cinema specific actor.”

She revealed while they are offers coming in, she’s making a conscious decision in choosing scripts that match her sensibilities. “I am still waiting. Things did come my way, there was a really big show, that I’d almost signed about a year back. And then that project got completely shelved. I am definitely a little choosy now. There have been times projects have come my way, but I’ve let go because it didn’t resonate with me. If I’m a part of something, that has to be worthwhile.”

Prachee agrees that it’s disheartening to see the hatred and the cancel culture overpowering the creativity that filmmakers are bringing through cinema. She feels social media is the biggest root for all the hatred. “This is just what social media is doing. It’s just misleading, it’s kind of making the wrong views of the power of social media. Kissine shuru kar diya boycott toh phir puri duniya boycott. In today’s world, particularly our country, people are often blindfolded that they don’t even want to get into dissecting it.”

“This is our so-called pattern about everything. No one wants to keep in their viewpoint in it at all. Like I said, we all come from diverse cultures be it educated or non educated, there’s hardly any perspective from the masses, they all just want to be a part of the trend,” she commented.

On a closing note, she shared, “It’s not that people don’t want to watch films, or they have stopped enjoying cinema. Everyone’s watching Pathaan today. People want to watch. So I think, that boycott culture should be stopped with your own so called sentiments and religious ideologies. I think politics is different. Entertainment is different. And like I said most of it is being so widely influenced by social media, it’s very necessary for an individual to differentiate between what is right and wrong, what is relevant and what is not necessary. Cinema is purely for entertainment, and it should be left at that.”

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