How did you prepare for the role of Randeep Rathore?
The writer Saurabh Shukla and the director Siddharth Sengupta have been instrumental in setting up this show. They greatly helped me to get into the skin of the character. They told me about brave personalities of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad like Hemant Karkare and the others who bravely fought for our country. I felt very emotional about the valiant cops who had sacrificed their lives for their country.
Please go on….
I am speechless when I think of heroes like Hemant Karkare, Tukaram Omble, Vijay Salaskar, Shashank Shinde, Sadanand Date etc. To them safeguarding their country came first; it was far more important than their families and personal problems. I am full of awe when I think of the dauntless martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the country. India is proud to have heroes like these. We simply just can't repay what they have done for the nation.
How would you describe Randeep?
Ranveer is a very ruthless and hard going police officer. He is somewhat impatient, for instance he may just go for a kill. He is determined about protecting his country. However there is an emotional side to him too which will be revealed later on the show.
I feel that 26-12 is attracting many male viewers too…
This show appeals to the young and the old, men and women both. All Indians can identify with 26-12. We should be united in the fight against terrorism so that these attacks aren't repeated in future. Just mourning the death of the innocent victims through candle marches isn't enough.
According to you how can Indian citizens fight against terrorism?
Sometimes we can prevent a terrorist attack by doing very simple things. For instance if you find a neighbour suspicious, you should report this to the police who will then do an inquiry. Also when you see a suspicious object you need to inform the authorities.
Do you think that 9pm is too early a slot for a mature show like 26-12? It doesn't have intimate scenes but the terrorism topic may not be appropriate for kids, it also has some violent scenes….
I disagree. In fact I think that 9pm is a great time slot for this show. This is peak prime time and the whole family should sit together before the TV and watch 26-12 as it has a very strong social message. There is violence on the show but it's minimal and underplayed. There may be far more violence being shown on news channels.
Should terrorists who kill many people be given the death sentence?
Absolutely, as the terrorists, have after all been ruthless. If they aren't giving the death sentence other terrorists will get the impression that they can just kill and get away with it. We should come down strongly with the message that if terrorists kill, the death penalty awaits them.
Reporter and Author: Pallavi Bhattacharya