Surendra Pal, TV and Film Actor
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Surendra Pal, TV and Film Actor

Asit Dixit and Umesh Patil |
February 19, 2019

“Bas aap ye dhyan rakhiyega ki aath mahine continue rakhein ye nahi ki beech mein chhod dein aap mujhe … aur agar ho sake toh fir aath mahine ke baad bhi fir continue rakhein usko aage bhi zaroorat padegi (Please see to it that you honour the contract for eight months. Don’t leave me half way through it … and if it is possible continue it after eight months. You may need it further).”


The Lucknow born-actor started his career as an actor in 1984 with film Grahsthi, a family drama. But his moment arrived truly after he assayed the role of Dronacharya in Doordarshan TV serial Mahabharat.  Since then, Surendra Pal has acted in about 40 films and more than 30 TV serials. He also produced and directed a Bhojpuri film Bhauji Ke Sister under his own banner in 2009. 

We met Pal at the Lokhandwala Love & Latte coffee shop. After we have briefed the actor about our agenda, he asks, “It’s a promotion to BJP.” Yes by celebs, we say. In order to give us an idea of how important a celeb can be for such promotions, he shares with us his experience of those days when he was allowed to speak even when Prime Minister Atal Behari would arrive to address an election rally. What gave him importance in the BJP’s scheme of things during electioneering was his popularity as Dronacharya. Telling us that he is known among the fraternity as pro-BJP, Pal says he has been instrumental in inducting actors like Gajendra Chauhan, Mukesh Khanna, Pankaj Dheer, Suresh Oberoi and Jitendra into the BJP.

Actually, we are targeting this digital promotion for 2019 elections, we tell him. So, we have to start it immediately. There will be an eight-month contract and we will provide you the content which you will have to post on social media. Hope, you are okay with it. Assures Pal, “Mujhe samajh mein poora aa gayaa hai, poora graph sab aage ka peeche ka side ka left ka (I have understood the graph in its entirety, including its front, back and side, left).” After our agenda is clear to him and the actor has agreed to come on board, we tell him again our team will provide him the content. “Facebook ko kaise karoge (How will you do it on Facebook)?” he inquires. The same content will be posted on Twitter and Facebook, and Instagram can carry video messages, we explain it to him how the same content will be repacked on all three social media platforms.

Pal gives us a live demo of how he promotes the BJP by invoking Lord Krishna and likening him to Narendra Modi.

Finally, coming to his fee we ask him to quote a budget. “Do lakh per tweet (Rs. 2 lakh per tweet),” he promptly says. Accordingly, we tell him he would be paid Rs. 30 lakh per month, for 15 messages on all three platforms. There will be a contract for eight months between us and him.

The actor is so desperate he not only begs us to honour this contract but also seeks to extend it, as he says, “Bas aap ye dhyan rakhiyega ki aath mahine continue rakhein ye nahi ki beech mein chhod dein aap mujhe … aur agar ho sake toh fir aath mahine ke baad bhi fir continue rakhein usko aage bhi zaroorat padegi (Please see to it that you honour the contract for eight months. Don’t leave me half way through it … and if it is possible continue it after eight months. You may need it further).”

Finding him completely at our disposal, we now discuss the mode of payment. We ask him how he will prefer it, cash or by cheque. Since it is political money, so we would prefer to pay him largely in cash, we tell him. “Cash hee de do (Pay in cash only),” says the actor. Before we could make the issue clear to him, he interjects to ask, “Cash kaise hoga (How will you pay this much of cash)?” Don’t worry, we will manage it, we assure him. Pal pitches again for cash payment only, “Cash kar dijiye (Pay in cash).” But some part of the payment will be made by cheque, we tell him, about 10–15 percent. The rest would be paid in cash. Agreeing, he says, “Haan 10 percent kar dijiye 10–15 percent kar dijiye … cash (Yes, pay 10 percent, 10–15 percent [by cheque] … [and the rest in] cash.”

Telling us that all political parties pay in cash for their campaigning, he reveals, “BJP bhi cash hee deti hai … BJP direct nahi degi, Amit Shah nahi dete, unka aadmi aayega doosra aadmi jaise aapne mujhe hire kiya na Sandeep ne toh Sandeep ke through aayega aur kisi ke through nahi aayega Sandeep ke through aayega (BJP also pays in cash … what BJP does is it does not pay direct. Amit Shah will not do that. His point man will come, some other person. Say, for example, you, Sandeep, have hired me. The money will come to me through Sandeep only, not somebody else).” In the same breath, he tells us he does not promote even the BJP free. Listen to what the mercenary in this modern-day Dronacharya says, “Free main kisi ke liye bhi nahi kiya BJP ke liye bhi nahi … haan main BJP ka supporter zaroor hoon but free mein koi kaam nahi kiya ye bhi bata doon main aapko paise nahi aayenge toh nahi karoonga (I don’t work free for anybody, even if it is the BJP … yes, I am a BJP supporter but I must tell you I have never worked free. If I don’t get money, I simply don’t work).”

Pal did five tweets for us even before we entered into that imagined contract and even before he got a single penny. The less said the better.

The Lucknow born-actor started his career as an actor in 1984 with film Grahsthi, a family drama. But his moment arrived truly after he assayed the role of Dronacharya in Doordarshan TV serial Mahabharat.  Since then, Surendra Pal has acted in about 40 films and more than 30 TV serials. He also produced and directed a Bhojpuri film Bhauji Ke Sister under his own banner in 2009. 

We met Pal at the Lokhandwala Love & Latte coffee shop. After we have briefed the actor about our agenda, he asks, “It’s a promotion to BJP.” Yes by celebs, we say. In order to give us an idea of how important a celeb can be for such promotions, he shares with us his experience of those days when he was allowed to speak even when Prime Minister Atal Behari would arrive to address an election rally. What gave him importance in the BJP’s scheme of things during electioneering was his popularity as Dronacharya. Telling us that he is known among the fraternity as pro-BJP, Pal says he has been instrumental in inducting actors like Gajendra Chauhan, Mukesh Khanna, Pankaj Dheer, Suresh Oberoi and Jitendra into the BJP.

Actually, we are targeting this digital promotion for 2019 elections, we tell him. So, we have to start it immediately. There will be an eight-month contract and we will provide you the content which you will have to post on social media. Hope, you are okay with it. Assures Pal, “Mujhe samajh mein poora aa gayaa hai, poora graph sab aage ka peeche ka side ka left ka (I have understood the graph in its entirety, including its front, back and side, left).” After our agenda is clear to him and the actor has agreed to come on board, we tell him again our team will provide him the content. “Facebook ko kaise karoge (How will you do it on Facebook)?” he inquires. The same content will be posted on Twitter and Facebook, and Instagram can carry video messages, we explain it to him how the same content will be repacked on all three social media platforms.

Pal gives us a live demo of how he promotes the BJP by invoking Lord Krishna and likening him to Narendra Modi.

Finally, coming to his fee we ask him to quote a budget. “Do lakh per tweet (Rs. 2 lakh per tweet),” he promptly says. Accordingly, we tell him he would be paid Rs. 30 lakh per month, for 15 messages on all three platforms. There will be a contract for eight months between us and him.

The actor is so desperate he not only begs us to honour this contract but also seeks to extend it, as he says, “Bas aap ye dhyan rakhiyega ki aath mahine continue rakhein ye nahi ki beech mein chhod dein aap mujhe … aur agar ho sake toh fir aath mahine ke baad bhi fir continue rakhein usko aage bhi zaroorat padegi (Please see to it that you honour the contract for eight months. Don’t leave me half way through it … and if it is possible continue it after eight months. You may need it further).”

Finding him completely at our disposal, we now discuss the mode of payment. We ask him how he will prefer it, cash or by cheque. Since it is political money, so we would prefer to pay him largely in cash, we tell him. “Cash hee de do (Pay in cash only),” says the actor. Before we could make the issue clear to him, he interjects to ask, “Cash kaise hoga (How will you pay this much of cash)?” Don’t worry, we will manage it, we assure him. Pal pitches again for cash payment only, “Cash kar dijiye (Pay in cash).” But some part of the payment will be made by cheque, we tell him, about 10–15 percent. The rest would be paid in cash. Agreeing, he says, “Haan 10 percent kar dijiye 10–15 percent kar dijiye … cash (Yes, pay 10 percent, 10–15 percent [by cheque] … [and the rest in] cash.”

Telling us that all political parties pay in cash for their campaigning, he reveals, “BJP bhi cash hee deti hai … BJP direct nahi degi, Amit Shah nahi dete, unka aadmi aayega doosra aadmi jaise aapne mujhe hire kiya na Sandeep ne toh Sandeep ke through aayega aur kisi ke through nahi aayega Sandeep ke through aayega (BJP also pays in cash … what BJP does is it does not pay direct. Amit Shah will not do that. His point man will come, some other person. Say, for example, you, Sandeep, have hired me. The money will come to me through Sandeep only, not somebody else).” In the same breath, he tells us he does not promote even the BJP free. Listen to what the mercenary in this modern-day Dronacharya says, “Free main kisi ke liye bhi nahi kiya BJP ke liye bhi nahi … haan main BJP ka supporter zaroor hoon but free mein koi kaam nahi kiya ye bhi bata doon main aapko paise nahi aayenge toh nahi karoonga (I don’t work free for anybody, even if it is the BJP … yes, I am a BJP supporter but I must tell you I have never worked free. If I don’t get money, I simply don’t work).”

Pal did five tweets for us even before we entered into that imagined contract and even before he got a single penny. The less said the better.

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