Lucknow Central starrer Farhan Akhtar along with his co star Diana Penty recently visited the Yerwada Central jail in Pune where he got to understand more about the reform system for prisoners.
“I am someone who believes that reformation is the way forward in our system. People who are not repeat offenders should get a chance to be part of our society as any other human being once they are out of jails. We went to Yerwada jail recently and we saw how much emphasis is paid on jail reforms. We met the IG, DIG, jailer and a lot of inmates, who are given skill training so that when they go out of jails they can contribute to society and earn a certain respectability. I think there should be a system wherein there’s a panel of experts, may be psychologists, who can inform the public at large (through a certificate) that this person has completed his jail term and is safe to be in the environment around you, so that they can easily get a job. That’s as important as giving them skill training. Apart from putting them in jail for the crime they committed, we should come up with ways to induct them back into our society,” said Farhan to a leading Indian daily.
Farhan Akhtar commended the director of the film Ranjit Tiwari, who had very well researched about jails in India and crafted the film that reflects the lives of inmates in the jails. Farhan said, “For a very long time we haven’t had a film purely set in a jail. What Ranjit has handled the subject very sensitively. A part of him believes very strongly in reformation and that comes out quite well in the film. He feels that people who have committed a mistake and are in jail for a crime that they have committed, should get a chance once they are out of jail to pick up their lives from the point where they left.”
As the star cast of the film visited the Yerwada Central Jail in Pune and Adarsh Jail in Lucknow, they unfortunately couldn’t visit the Tihar Jail in Delhi. Commenting about the same, Farhan said, “I was invited by Tihar Jail recently, but the event got postponed. They were doing a week-long festival in Delhi and there was a day dedicated to music where inmates would be singing and performing and they wanted me to be a part of it, but that event got postponed. I do look forward to visiting Tihar and I have told the IG that I definitely would come in the future.”
Adding further, he spoke about how there is no Bollywood movie that is solely based on prisons, while there are many prison movies internationally.
“My earliest memory of prison films is Escape To Victory. In Indian films, jail was always a part of the film, but a film was never set in a jail, so our understanding of jails have been limited. There are more international films that come to mind when we talk about prison dramas. Midnight Express was a dark film set in a Turkish prison. Then there was The Shawshank Redemption and Papillon, starring Steve McQueen,” he said.