During the initial days in India the web was mainly trying to target the audiences in the big cities. But all that seems to have changed in the recent times. The OTT platforms are pushing hard to capture the space in tier II and III cities through targeted content. Amazon Prime Original series Panchayat is a major step forward in this direction. Even though Amazon already has a show like Mirzapur in its repertoire, it is with Panchayat that it can really hope to penetrate into the segment which has mostly been dominated by television over the last decade.
The premise of Panchayat is straight forward. An engineering graduate lands up with a job of a secretary at a village panchayat in UP. And so unlike his best friend who has a corporate job with a fat paycheck, he is left with just two options. Either he can sit at home jobless, or he can take up the challenge and begin his professional journey in the Hindi heartland. When he is unable to make his mind, he makes his friend do the choice for him. “This is the age for adventure. Go and explore rural India. The real India,” he is told. Panchayat offers an alluring sneak peek into rural India. The simplicity of village folk and how it ends up creating unnecessary complications in the life of the protagonist are a recurring motif in the series.
Panchayat benefits from some clever writing and brilliant performances. Jitendra Kumar is certainly proving himself with each new performance. He makes it look so effortless. Jitendra finds himself in the company of Raghubir Yadav and Neena Gupta. Together, the trio creates magic. They are well supported by Chandan Roy, Faisal Malik, and Biswapati Sarkar. Panchayat doesn’t have a dull moment. Also, its social commentary is quite relevant. But it does so without ever being preachy. Not since Malgudi Days has any show explored the spirit of rural India so well.