‘Panchayat’ Season 4 Expectations: What Does The Future Hold For The Village Of Phulera?

After meandering through the occasionally bittersweet emotional experiences and mostly funny naiveté of the villagers of Phulera in the first two seasons, TVF and Amazon Studios’ beloved webseries Panchayat finally begins shifting its momentum to a more realistic, slightly darker side of rural politics. Although the approach still veers toward the usual feel-good, risk-free treatment in the narrative, things could get more complex for our beloved members of the village panchayat in the upcoming seasons. The third season of Panchayat has raised the stakes much higher than expected, which sets the stage for a possibly intricate, somewhat tense storyline for the upcoming fourth season of the series. Let us briefly gloss over the key issues and teases hinted at in the recently released third season, which will be explored in the upcoming season.

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Spoilers Ahead


What Does the Future Hold for the Village Phulera? 

For viewers who have enjoyed the recent influx of original, well-crafted Indian narratives due to the rise of OTT, the village of Phulera has become a pretty familiar name thanks to Panchayat. The honest, down-to-earth depiction of rural Indian village life, which most viewers have found comforting and relatable, has found much appreciation among audience and critics alike. However, the makers have consciously prioritized a dark turn for the series in this season, which is highlighted through the central conflict between the MLA Chandra Kishor, Phulera Pradhan Brij Bhushan, and his panchayat members. A rift, which started from a minor misunderstanding and ego issues of the MLA, increased after the MLA tried to abuse his power by threatening the secretary of the panchayat, Abhishek Tripathi, and, as a result, faced opposition from Pradhan’s office. 

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Eventually, the MLA gained support from Bhushan and his group who sought to fulfil their personal political ambition by challenging Pradhan for his role. What followed is a series of fortunate and unfortunate events guided by sheer chance and coincidence – which ultimately turned the entire village against the hot-headed, egomaniac MLA. In the season finale, villagers of Phulera take up their arms against the invading MLA Chandra Kishor and his goons and a bloody conflict almost gets averted by the interference of a powerful MP who instructs Chandra Kishor to hold his horses (figuratively and literally) and call off the attack. However, fifteen days later, an assassination attempt leaves Pradhan injured and hospitalized, which leads to an all out brawl between panchayat members and the MLA and his goons. As both parties are taken to the local police station, one thing becomes quite clear – that the political tension of Phulera will continue to rise – which might result in pretty sordid outcomes like this. With the megalomaniac MLA turning out to be a nemesis-like figure for the village as a whole, it can be assumed that during the upcoming by-election he will gain no political support from the villagers – despite all the desperate and hilarious attempts made by Bhushan and his gang. 


Will Abhishek find a life of his own?

Although the third season mostly focused on the political conflict in Phulera, the occasional attention to Panchayat Secretary Abhishek’s personal life made its presence felt in the background. Unlike the previous two seasons, where Abhishek’s efforts to adapt to the simplistic life of Phulera formed the core of the narrative, the third season keeps that aspect sidelined. Despite that, a steady growth of the character in accordance with the overarching narrative is pretty apparent, especially in the way his relationship with the village itself is fleshed out in the third season. 

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Viewers will surely remember that, as a newcomer to Phulera, the aspirant Abhishek was initially overwhelmed, disappointed, and frustrated for a major part during the course of the first and second seasons. Belonging to an urban middle-class Indian background, Abhishek wanted to settle into a conventionally affluent lifestyle, and life in Phulera was the exact opposite of the dreams he had. Abhishek prepared to crack the CAT exams, to break away from the slog of what he thought was stagnant village life, and to settle in a ‘better’ place by taking up better career opportunities. He also maintained a conscious distance from the lives of the villagers despite mingling with them at the same time, always being attentive to not meddle too much in their problems so that he could maintain an emotional distance. However, that all changed as the villagers of Phulera won his heart through their love and simplistic ideals and came to his aid by defending him from the MLA. Additionally, Abhishek fell for Pradhan’s daughter, Rinki, as well, and their budding romance was a minor subplot in the third season of the series. Not so strangely, the same guy who felt restless while pondering about his future and wanted to escape from life in Phulera had gradually found himself embroiled in the lives of villagers and panchayat members, to such an extent that his primary concern of cracking the CAT exams had lost its importance by the end of the third season. Whether the series steadily progresses in this direction and Abhishek accepts his life among the villagers of Phulera or he gets reminded of his better prospects for the future and eventually moves on, that will be highlighted in the upcoming fourth season of Panchayat. But from the way things are shaping up at the moment, Abhishek seems to have dipped both his feet into the village politics for good, and it will possibly be impossible for him to move on from this. 


What Is Going to Happen in the Lives of All the Beloved Characters?

The USP of Panchayat is its ensemble of endearing characters, and the third season gave all of them proper space to shine on their own. Pradhan ji and his wife Manju Devi initially had disagreements over the decision-making of village administration, but they patched up real soon after Manju Devi’s counsel helped Pradhan Ji in his most desperate hour. In the fourth season, Manju Devi will have a more impactful role, as Pradhan Ji has sustained injuries bad enough to keep him off active duty. Their daughter, Rinki, has decided to pursue higher education to delay the social expectations regarding her life, which will add to the subplot of the fourth season, along with her budding romance with Abhishek. Prahlad has started to move on with his life after grieving the death of his son, while Vikash and his family are prepared to welcome a new member into their family. However, with conflict with the MLA and a much more powerful MP moving the pieces of the proverbial chessboard from the background, the lives and dreams of these beloved characters face much peril, as the finale of the third season has duly indicated. This troublesome situation will contribute to much hype for the fourth season of Panchayat, which we cannot wait to see unfold soon enough.

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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