From Selling Cotton To Cannes, The Inspiring Journey Of ‘Panchayat’ Actor Ashok Pathak

‘Panchayat’ is an OTT series that is loved by many for its simplistic humour and enjoyable plotline. Additionally, the beauty of the series is that it is not just the main characters who steal the show; even the supporting cast is equally adored and their roles are significantly talked about. One such member of the supporting cast is Ashok Pathak, who plays the role of Binod.

Ashok Pathak as Binod in ‘Panchayat’

Born in Siwan, Bihar, Ashok Pathak later moved to Faridabad, Haryana, for work. Due to financial hardships, he began working early in life, helping his uncle sell cotton. From a young age, Ashok would transport cotton bundles on his bicycle to various places, earning approximately Rs 100 per day.


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A post shared by Ashok Pathak (@ashokpathakt) 

Eventually, his family moved to Hisar for better job prospects. After finishing his 12th grade, Ashok joined a local college, which he credits for a significant personal transformation. It was here that he discovered his passion for theatre, participating in numerous cultural festivals and plays, and dreaming of a career in Bollywood. One notable performance at a college festival earned him Rs 40,000, which he used to travel to Mumbai and pursue his acting aspirations.


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“In the youth festival, I won the best actor award and we went on to win at the national level as well. I got awarded by Ashutosh Rana sir. My photo was everywhere (in the newspapers) which was a big deal and phir pariwar ne kaha… ‘Kar bhai jo bhi karna hai’,” Pathak once revealed in an interview.

After arriving in Mumbai, he started auditioning and it didn’t take him long to land up with projects. He played small roles in a number of projects and eventually climbed the ladder. In fact, when it came down to ‘Panchayat’, he wasn’t even keen on playing Binod’s role!

Image source: Panchayat

“When I got a call from the casting, I was very disappointed. In fact, for the last several years, I have been playing characters like a street vendor, a driver or a security guard. In such a situation, it seemed that this character Vinod is also like that. I kept postponing the audition for two-three days. The casting guys are my friends, so I couldn’t even deny them. I made an audition video and sent it to them. At that time, I was shooting for Aarya. They liked that video and I was finalised for the role. I never refuse work. But maybe this was bound to happen. But maybe it had to happen, otherwise I would not have got that much love from people,” India Today quoted him saying.

That’s not all. Ashok Pathak was also one of the celebrities who went to this year’s Cannes Film Festival as a film he starred in named Sister Midnight (made by Karan Kandhari and starring Radhika Apte in the lead role), was screened at the Directors’ Fortnight section.


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A post shared by Ashok Pathak (@ashokpathakt) 

From a humble village to Cannes, Ashok Pathak has indeed come a long way!

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