NRI Pulse


Movie Review

Panchayat Season 1 & 2: A heartwarming journey through rural India

BY MAHADEV DESAI

Season 3, with 8 episodes started streaming on May 28, 2024.

“Panchayat” is a popular comedy-drama series by TVF, streaming on Amazon Prime, that captures the essence of rural India and the relatable, simple lifestyle of its people.

The award-winning series chronicles the life of Abhishek Tripathy (Jitendra Kumar), a city-bred engineering graduate who becomes a Panchayat secretary in the remote fictional village of Phulera in Uttar Pradesh, due to a lack of better job options. Initially, he struggles to adapt to the village culture and considers returning to the city to pursue an MBA after clearing the CAT examination.

Abhishek lives in a small office building with minimal amenities. His attempts to study at night are hindered by mosquitoes, power outages, and other issues. He tries to get a solar lamp, but first has to convince the villagers who believe there’s a ghost under the tree where the lamp should be placed. He buys a comfortable revolving chair but ends up giving it away to placate Ganesh, the bridegroom marrying Rinki’s (Sanvikka) friend Raveena. His monitor is stolen but later returned by the thief, who mistook it for a TV.

Gradually, Abhishek begins to like the place and its people. Vikas (Chandan Roy) becomes his helpful right-hand man, and he earns the trust and friendship of Upa Pradhan Prahlad (Faisal Malik), Pradhan Manju Devi (Neena Gupta), and her husband, ex-Pradhan Brij Bhushan (Raghuvir Yadav).

Abhishek is tasked by the BDO to supervise family planning slogans in the village. One slogan, “Do bacche meethi kheer, do se jyaada bawaseer,” comparing additional children to piles, outrages the residents. Despite the troublemaker Bhushan’s (Durgesh Kumar) instigation, Manju Devi advises her husband not to remove the slogan.

After not doing well in the CAT exam, Abhishek helps Manju Devi prepare for the Republic Day flag-hoisting ceremony. Initially doubtful, he is pleasantly surprised when she successfully performs the ceremony with a bit of help from her husband, inspiring Abhishek to attempt the CAT exam again. Meanwhile, Abhishek and Rinki are drawn to each other, though their romance hasn’t fully blossomed yet.

In the second season, Abhishek faces issues created by Bhushan and the corrupt MLA Chandrakishore (Pankaj Jha). Bhushan plans to have his wife, Kranti Devi, contest the upcoming election and complains about the bumpy road connecting Phulera to the highway. Although Phulera has ODF (Open Defecation Free) status, Bhushan tries to undermine it during the DM’s visit. However, Abhishek, Vikas, and Prahlad manage to save the situation.

Villagers are curious and excited when CCTV cameras are installed. When footage mistakenly shows Manju Devi taking Kranti Devi’s sandals, Bhushan and his friends threaten to report it as theft. Abhishek quickly deletes the footage to avoid trouble.

Another challenge is securing funds from MLA Chandrakishore for road repairs. He insults Abhishek, Vikas, and Prahlad during their visit. Despite this, Brij Bhushan considers inviting the MLA to a devotional event, but plans change when Prahlad’s son, Rahul, is martyred in Kashmir. The village comes together to support Prahlad, and during the procession, Manju Devi confronts the MLA, asking him to leave. Angered, the MLA decides to transfer Abhishek to another village. The season ends with Rinki informing her mother about Abhishek’s transfer.

Directed by Deepak Kumar Mishra and written by Chandan Kumar, the series features soundtrack by Anurag Saikia, with cinematography by Amitabha Singh and editing by Amit Kulkarni. Season 1, with 8 episodes, premiered on April 3, 2020. Season 2, also with 8 episodes, premiered on May 18, 2022. Season 3, with 8 episodes started streaming on May 28, 2024.

This is a MUST WATCH TVF series.

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