According to Indian law, a man below the age of 21 cannot marry, neither can a woman below the age of 18. Yet, the new Sony Pictures Television show Pehredaar Piya Ki centres on a relationship between a 10-year-old boy and an 18-year-old woman in Rajasthan, which culminates in a wedding.
Diya (Tejaswi Prakash) is engaged to the wealthy Ratan Singh (Afaan Khan) in order to protect the Rajput scion from his property-minded relatives. A sequence in an early episode, in which Ratan stalks Diya with his camera and then catches her as she loses her balance, has proved to be especially contentious. Actor Karan Wahi was among the few television personalities to voice his anger in a Facebook post. Wahi wrote, “Dear producer and channel… plz dont sell me stupidity in the name of content whch gives trp because honestly noone is watching this…. Not to sound arrogant but we can be better than this.”
Pehredaar Piya Ki has been running with a disclaimer that it does not promote child marriage even though events have been built up to ensure a marital union between Diya and Ratan in the fifth episode. The show has been produced by Shashi Mittal and Sumeet Mittal, whose company Shashi Sumeet Productions is also behind Diya Aur Baati Hum, Dil Se Dil Tak, and Punar Vivah. Shashi Mittal is credited with the concept development of Pehredar Piya Ki. In an interview with Scroll.in, Sumeet Mittal defended the show’s premise, stating that the objective was to explore “a rare friendship between a little boy and a woman”.