Scoop, directed by Hansal Mehta, has to say a lot about the kind of society we live in, how women are subjected to covert discrimination in workplaces, and how they have to keep fighting each and every day of their lives to prove their worth in front of people who aren’t even half as capable as them. Life gets even tougher when you are an ambitious, independent, and single woman living in a patriarchal society, as dealing with subtle prejudices from people who consider themselves to be educated and progressive becomes a part of the daily routine, so much so that even the woman on the receiving end doesn’t get startled as she expects the men to be like that. The character of Jagruti Pathak, played by Karishma Tanna, is based on a real-life journalist named Jigna Vora, who worked for an English daily called the Asian Age. The name of the newspaper has been changed to Eastern Age in the series, where Vora was the deputy bureau chief and had reached that position in merely seven years. In Scoop series, Jagruti Pathak is shown as somebody who took her work very seriously, and more than that, she was passionate about what she did. There were not a lot of females in the field of crime journalism, and that made it even more difficult for her to create her own network of sources so that she was always a step ahead of everybody else.
Today in modern media culture, there is a lot of competition with the advent of so many media houses, and so it becomes important that a reporter not only gets to know about a development but also reports it before anybody else can do it. Jagruti was good at it because she had contacts in the right places. She had won the trust of JCP Harshwardhan Shroff, and she got a lot of intel from him, in addition to her network of informants, who kept updating her on a regular basis about the developments happening in the underbelly of Mumbai.
Jagruti looked up to Jaideb Sen, who was probably one of the best criminal investigative journalists in the Mumbai circuit, and through his years of hard work, he had been able to make a name for himself. Jaideb was also one of Imran’s proteges, and the latter was proud to see him climb the ladder of success. Jagruti always felt that Jaideb didn’t acknowledge her existence and didn’t like her, but she was wrong. Jaideb knew a gem when he saw one, but it was not in his nature to compliment a person on their face, but he had spoken about how good Jagruti was to his peers. Jaideb saw a flair in Jagruti, and he knew that she had it in her to succeed in this field. Just days before his death, he had told Jagruti to be cautious about the questions she asked, as once she got stuck in the swamp, there was no way out. Jagruti was asking a lot of questions about Chota Rajan, and she was trying to find any source that could help her get a one-on-one interview with him. Jagruti, at that point in time, thought that Jaideb was asking her to stay away because he didn’t want her snooping on the matters that he was handling, but she was wrong about him, and she had that realization later on in Scoop series.
After Jaideb was shot, Jagruti was made the scapegoat, as the people running the system did not want their corrupt practices to get exposed. Jagruti was kept in judicial custody even when there was no solid evidence to prove that she had given the details of Jaideb Sen to Chota Rajan. She was called a traitor during the media trial, and the country accepted that she had Jaideb killed because, apparently, she didn’t like him. The police had a hard time filing the charge sheet because, obviously, whatever they had claimed earlier couldn’t be corroborated by any sort of evidence. They had claimed that Jagruti had made 36 calls to Chota Rajan, which obviously wasn’t true, but Jagruti was surprised to see to what extent they could go to stop the truth from coming to light. They knew that they wouldn’t be able to prove anything in court, so the prosecution just kept delaying the process and made sure that she didn’t get bail during that time. They tried to create fake evidence and present superfluous theories in court, making a mockery of the entire legal justice system. Jagruti had to go through a lot during that nine-month period. Her fellow inmates tortured her because the leader of the pack, Rambha Ma, had ordered them to make Jagruti’s life a living hell. Back in the day, Jagruti had written something negative about Rambha Maa, a.k.a. Chhaya Gada, and since then, she wanted to take revenge on her.
Jagruti’s spirit was broken every single day in the Byculla prison, but she managed to keep moving forward. There was a point in Scoop when we felt like she would become mentally unstable, but she mustered all the courage she had, motivated herself, and kept fighting every single day. She was resilient and able to withstand the storm. The day finally came when her lawyer was able to get her bail, though it still took her seven more years to get acquitted of all the charges. After she was released from prison, Imran told her that Jaideb Sen had gone to Europe earlier to meet a man he referred to as the Smoking Gun, who had the evidence to prove that the Mumbai crime branch was protecting the underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Jagruti was never able to establish or find any concrete evidence about Dawood’s nexus, a theory that her role model Jaideb Sen believed to be true. She had spent a fair chunk of her professional life hunting for scoops, but she had never imagined that her life would also become a scoop one day. It is not easy to fight against the system, and Jagruti knew that to bring about a change, she had to be a part of the system, as she couldn’t change anything from the outside. But now she was way too traumatized to fight again. It wasn’t like she wanted to take revenge on somebody, but she just couldn’t get rid of the nightmares. The saddening part of the entire ordeal was that the real-life Jagruti Pathak, i.e., Jigna Vora, was never able to make a return in the field of journalism. It was evident that she was suffering from PTSD, as the harrowing memories were like indelible ink, and she was aware that she would have to live with it for her entire life.