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Ilyasi on life and end of India’s Most Wanted
SABA SIDDIQUI  26th Jun 2011

Suhaib Ilyasi on the sets of his upcoming film, 498A- A Wedding Gift

en years ago, journalist and anchor Suhaib Ilyasi looked into the camera and said, "Together we can and we will make a difference..." and the country believed him. He was the producer, director and anchor of the most popular crime show in the country - India's Most Wanted. But things changed for Ilyasi in 2000, when his wife Anju committed suicide and he was accused of harassment for dowry (under Section 498A). Currently out on bail he is back on the radar as a producer and director of a film on the misuse of this very Act, 498A- The Wedding Gift, starring Farida Jalal, Sushma Seth and Deepak Tijori. We ask Ilyasi what he has been up to in the past decade, what inspired him to make this film and some facts about his personal life.Image 2nd

Q. What have you been doing, post India's Most Wanted?

A. For the last ten years I have been fighting the legal battle to prove my innocence. I am a part of the core group of India TV and from 2004 to 2006 I was producing a crime show for them. I also launched a magazine called Bureaucracy Today in 2009. The magazine deals with governance and corporate affairs and our investigative journalism has led to the suspension of four chairmen of public sector unit.

Q. Is your upcoming film inspired by your life?

A. It's actually inspired by a friend's ordeal who fought a long legal battle with his wife for the custody of his child. The wife was already married, cheated him and then harassed him using this act and he often called me for advice. All this took its toll that he committed suicide and I realised that I should do something about it. Though am a victim of this act too this film is dedicated to him. Ten years ago, my life changed it was a bad dream. Who I was and what I became everyone knows.

Q. Did India's Most Wanted's sudden end shock you?

A. Well these are the dangers when you try to nab criminals. We exposed men with strong political connections, even men like Pramod Mahajan. This is how I paid for it, people accused me of forcing my wife to commit suicide and the show ended, leaving a lot of people relieved. Some wrong men wanted me to lose my credibility.

Q. Your father-in-law and brother-in-law supported you, while your mother-in-law and sister-in-law filed the case against you?

A. My mother-in-law loves me a lot and even now comes to my house to stay. The only reason my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are doing it is to get the custody of my 13-year-old daughter, Aaliya so that they can take her away to Canada. But I will not let anyone take away my daughter.

Q. When will you make a comeback on television?

A. I am looking forward to making a comeback on the small screen as a producer and anchor. Though we haven't decided on the details of the show, but it should hit the screens by the end of this year. I could have done that a long time ago, but I wanted to prove my innocence before that. If people considered me a criminal why would they believe me, what right would I have to point fingers at others? But once the court gives its verdict, I will be back.

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