Aashram, the latest web series on MX player is an Indian crime drama engrossed with caste discrimination, blind followers of godman, and eventually becoming victims of these fake saints. With a gripping & convincing storyline, director Prakash Jha precisely has connected the dots of Hindu casteism, religion, politics, socio-political affairs that will make you thrilled. Not much of a typical strong language, sex, violence but with simple content, subtle screenplay, and solid performance makes you glued to the screen.
Aashram chapter 1 rating: 7/10
[For the deep inside structure of fraud Hindu ashram, though I wanted to reserve 1 extra for the climax in Season 2]
Aashram Director: Prakash Jha
The series forays into India’s caste discrimination system where a Dalit girl Pammi, (Aaditi Phankar) who is also a wrestler, became a victim of casteism. When Pammi & Satti (Tushar Pandey) are dejected fighting against all odds and about to give up every hope of life, godman “Kashipur wale Nirala Baba” (Bobby Deol) emerges as a messiah. Thus, Pammi became an avid follower of baba and chose the path of devotion and gave up her career, family to join the Aashram as Sadvi (female devotee of the ashram) with her brother Satti. Both Aaditi and Tushar are outstanding in their pivotal characters throughout the season.
Bobby Deol as a godman “Nirala Baba”, with his trusted man Bhopa (Chandan Roy Sanyal) made the Aashram a powerhouse of the society. The main intention of the Aashram is to control millions of poor, superstitious, underprivileged minds with eloquent prayers “Japnaam” & “Babaji ki Sada hi Jai”. But behind the scene, they smuggle drugs, influence elections, buy politicians, and are involved in rape, prostitution, murder, and many more.
Bobby Deol, played the wicked baba who is the mastermind behind all con-activities, gets to the skin of the character and undoubtedly it’s his best onscreen performance. More so I’ve become a big fan of Bhopa with his strong screen presence as a manager of Aashram office with many grey-shaded fellows. Bhopa rarely uses a gun unless you’ll find him calmly preying with the folded hand “Baba Jaane sab ki Maan ki Baat, Japnaam Japnaam !!!”Baba and Bhopa
Parallel to the Aashram’s inside story, there’s a murder mystery when a skeleton is discovered in town; sub-inspector Ujagar Singh (Darshan Kumaar), who is probing this case suspected some illegal activities going on inside the ashram. But with the growing Govt & political influence, it’s too difficult for Ujagar to continue the investigation. Towards the end of the season, Nirala baba wanted to attract youth to the ashram and by sexual desire, he intentionally emasculates (Suddikaran, as Aashram called it) Satti to get to his wife Babita (Tridha Chowdhury).
Aashram season 2 prelude
Will there be a window of opening for Ujagar to enter the ashram? How Pammi will take revenge when she’ll get to know the real baba? I’m very curious to know what is stored in the next season. With the recent developments in both Aashram’s inside and outside events, will that be enough to reveal the Aashram secret? Well, you’ll have to wait for the full picture in Aashram season 2.
Overall, the best part of this web series is the message towards the society, when someone surrenders to a holy man based upon just blind faith, should ask questions why, how, what – otherwise can be exploited badly.
“Hamaare desh main log vishwas karna shuru karte hai toh baad (flood) si aa jaati hai” – is the best one from baba in this series. This web series reminds me of the real story of Ram Rahim Baba and his trusted aide Honey Preet for their similar con activities a few years back, ultimately put to the Jail.Conclusion
AASHRAM is currently streaming on MX player OTT platform which is free unlike Prime, Netflix, SonyLiv, or others; in season 1, there’re only 9 episodes around 45-50mins each.
How much will you rate this web series out of 10, let us know in the comment box below?