Scoop: Is Jaideb Sen Based on an Actual Reporter?

Netflix’s ‘Scoop’ is a fast-paced Indian Hindi-language crime and legal drama series that takes you into the world of organized crime and cutthroat journalism in the year 2011. Revolving around Jagruti Pathak, a Senior Crime Journalist and the Deputy Bureau Chief for the Eastern Age, the story follows her arrest in the case of a fellow senior journalist Jaideb Sen – known for his hard-hitting pieces against absconding underworld crime bosses, Chhota Rajan and Dawood Ibrahim – under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA). Following this, the series chronicles the time she spent in the Byculla jail for a little over nine months as her lawyers and colleagues fought for her release in court.

Created by Hansal Mehta and Mrunmayee Lagoo Waikul, the drama series stars Karishma Tanna, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Harman Baweja, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Deven Bhojani, and Ira Dubey. One of the most interesting and pivotal characters in the series is Jaideb Sen, the murder victim, whose death acts as an impetus for the six-part series. A respected journalist who’s known for his impeccable timing and irreproachable articles and sources, Sen is something of a celebrity in the field of crime reporting.

Sen is also the former protégé of Jagruti Pathak’s mentor and Editor-in-Chief, Imran, and her professional rival. When a story he had been pursuing visibly rattles Sen, Jagruti starts looking into it herself. But soon after, the former winds up dead in an assassination, and all fingers point towards Pathak as the instigator. But just who is Jaideb Sen? Is there an actual person behind the star journalist whose death impacted so many? If you find yourself asking the same questions, then worry not, for we have the answers for you.

Jaideb Sen is Based on a Real Person

Yes, Jaideb Sen was a real person. The series itself is based on a biographical memoir written by journalist Jigna Vora titled ‘Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison.’ The book, published in September 2019, narrates Vora’s account of her time spent in the Byculla jail after her arrest in the case of the murder of reporter Jyotirmoy Dey in 2011. It is this selfsame Jyotirmoy Dey who is the basis of Jaideb Sen in the series.

Jyotirmoy Dey, born in 1955 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, first became known across India for his article on government departments taking away land in the Borivali National Park in The Afternoon Despatch & Courier, an evening tabloid, which created an uproar in the Maharashtra government. After that Sen shifted to covering the Mumbai underworld, working for The Indian Express, and then Hindustan Times. He has also published two best-selling books on the underworld — ‘Zero Dial: The Dangerous World of Informers’ and ‘Khallas.’

At the time of his death, Sen was the Editor for Mid-Day, a morning tabloid under the aegis of Jagran Prakashan Limited. The character of Jaideb Sen, inspired by the late Jyotirmoy Dey, is depicted on screen by Prosenjit Chatterjee, who brings the same ease and nuance to the role as he did in the web series ‘Jubilee’ as film producer Srikant Roy. Though the Bengali actor, sporting an impressive bearded look in the series, does not physically resemble Jyotirmoy Dey (who was resplendent in frameless spectacles and usually went clean-shaven), his demeanor as a veteran journalist shines through each and every second that he’s on the screen.

On the cusp of a groundbreaking story for which his life is being threatened, Chatterjee’s body language does most of the acting in ‘Scoop.’ His heavy, deliberate, and unhurried footsteps as he walks into the Mumbai Press Association building hint at his status as somebody who has proved himself again and again as an investigative journalist, with everybody present there turning towards him. The same goes for his measured words, which aren’t wasted on making any unnecessary or frivolous remarks.

Even when “Dada” is not on the screen, his articles and comments are discussed at great length by the other journalists, trying to uncover the secrets of the story he’s working on. “Prosenjit Chatterjee, a veteran in the industry, brings an undeniable charisma to the screen. In Scoop, he brought a brooding power to his character, the presence of which can be felt throughout the show. Besides being a wonderful artist, Bumbada is also a lovely human being,” said Hansal Mehta, the series creator and director, on Chatterjee’s work in ‘Scoop,’ in an interview with Bollywood Hungama.

Hansal added how Chatterjee is “Humble and always so popular on set. I will always be grateful that he agreed to play this part. Having thrived in the industry for so many years is a testament to his enduring star power.” The director, however, was not always eager about casting the Bengali actor. “I was initially a bit resistant to Prosenjit Chatterjee playing Jaideb Sen because of his build, and has a very romantic hero image afterall he is the son of Biswajit.”

Hansal added, “So, I was like how to approach him for the part because despite it being a very key part, the length of the role is very limited,” the director told IANS. Sticking close to the factual truth and journalist Jigna Vora’s memoir, ‘Scoop’ presents a very accurate portrayal of Jyotirmoy Dey in the form of Jaideb Sen. Though not on the screen for very long, Prosenjit Chatterjee manages to instill himself in the minds of the viewers as the insightful and unforgettable Sen.

Read More: Is Scoop Based on a True Story?