Hansal Mehta's latest newsroom drama, Scoop, opened to great reviews from both viewers and critics. The six-episode series is inspired by former crime journalist Jigna Vora's memoir, 'Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison.'
It follows the story of Jagruti Pathak, played by Karishma Tanna, a top crime reporter who finds herself in the midst of controversy after she is charged with abetting the murder of senior crime journalist Jyotirmoy Dey (J Dey) over professional rivalry.
Some aspects of the show have been fictionalised, as per remarks by Hansal Mehta and Jigna Vora, to maintain the authenticity of the drama. They are as follows:
1. Jagruti's Trainee Reporter Deepa is Fictional
One of the key figures of the show is Jagruti's trainee reporter, Deepa Chandra (played by Inayat Sood). She trains under Jagruti, admires her work, and even aspires to be like her someday. However, when an opportunity to advance her career comes along, she turns everything she's learned from Jagruti against her and uses it to make her look guilty of a crime she reportedly didn't commit.
Hansal Mehta revealed that although Deepa's character takes inspiration from real-life people, it's still fictional.
In his conversation with Newslaundry, the filmmaker shared:
"It's a mix. It's a composite character. A composite of multiple characters like that. Because, there was a time when she (Jigna) realised that her own colleagues were reporting on her. And the reporter became the reported. And they're all doing their job. Deepa says the same thing, 'I'm just trying to do my job and my mentor Jagruti would've done the same thing.' So she's not inspired by a single person, she's a composite character."Hansal Mehta
2. Jigna Vora Claims She Didn't Know J Dey
While Jagruti Pathak knows Jaideep Sen (played by Prosenjit Chatterjee) and has a total of two brief meetings with him in the show, Jigna Vora claims that she never really knew J Dey.
In her various interviews, Vora has admitted that she did not know J Dey at all, nor did she ever meet him.
In her conversation with Times Now in September 2019, Vora shared. "I didn't know him at all. I'm not saying this because he is not here to take his stand. But, I don't know him. That is a fact. I never spoke with him; that is another fact. And there was no question of rivalry. He was too senior for me."
Vora further said that there were reports in the media that J Dey was her mentor. However, she denied all the speculations by saying that her mentor was former crime journalist Hussain Zaidi, whose character was portrayed by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub in the series.
3. One of the Cops Was Fictional
In an interview with Scroll, Hansal Mehta shared that the team consciously changed the names of the main characters in the show; however, they chose to retain the real names of the underworld dons.
Likewise, the series had composites of different characters who were around at the time. Mehta said that one of the police officers was not exactly one person but an amalgam.
"I felt the issue is more systemic than personal, as a story about individuals – media, underworld, police, politicians – who are in this unspoken alliance. But when it came to the dons, I felt they deserved to be named. Ultimately, their role in various things is well documented, beyond the book, and I thought it was within the parameters of truth," Mehta told Scroll.
4. Jigna Didn't Return to Journalism
Towards the end of the sixth episode, the show hints that Jagruti Pathak may get back to crime reporting after her editor Imran (played by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub) convinces her to work on a story.
However, in real life, Jigna Vora never returned to the field of crime journalism. After her acquittal in the J Dey murder case, she chose the path of spirituality. She is now a tarot card reader and a spiritual healer.
5. Police's Involvement in Framing Jagruti
In Hansal Mehta's Scoop, the police have been shown having a significant role in framing Jagruti Pathak in Jaideep Sen's murder case. The show also portrays how the media carried misleading reports while Jagruti was imprisoned.
However, in real life, Jigna Vora blames only the media for the agony that she went through during the course of the case. The former journalist believes that the police were only doing their job.
In an interview with Times Now, Vora shared, "As far as the Mumbai police is concerned, let me tell you very frankly, they have not manipulated anything. It was the media who wrote everything on their own. That's it. The media took it the other way. The police were doing what they were best in doing, probably the investigation. 'Why, what, who?' I don't want to get into all that. I hold only media responsible for this."