Bhopal, Dec 8 (UNI) Hockey veteran Mir Ranjan Negi, whose life was essayed in Shahrukh Khan-starrer 'Chak De India' and is a prominent participant in Sony television reality show 'Jhalak Dikhlaja', has claimed that SMS voting extensively used in talent hunt is only a medium to assess an artiste's popularity and not talent.
''In reality shows, one can't ensure victory through talent alone'', the former India Eleven goalkeeper told UNI over telephone last night.
Mr Negi, who hails from Madhya Pradesh's commercial town Indore, said irrespective of his victory or defeat in the reality show, he was contended that he could ultimately win the heart of the people through his dancing.
''Immense SMS voting by fans boosted my spirits every time to crack the hard nut '', said the former goalkeeper.
''Nobody can win through his talent only, the real winner wins the people's love'', said Mr Negi, adding that his close rival Ronit Roy, who earned name and fame on the small screen, was 14 points ahead of him in the reality show but was eliminated because he bagged lesser votes.
About his performance in ''Jhalak Dikhlaja'', he said ''though he was never in the judges' list of favourites, still he enjoyed every bit of the show on the same lines as he enjoyed the zig-zag movements in hockey.
''People should dance in different style, including sizzling western, but should not overstep decency'', said Mr Negi, adding few participants sometimes crossed the limit.
Mr Negi said he was planning to start 'Abhi Foundation' in Mumbai in memory of his son Abhiranjan, who passed away on October 21, 2005 at the age of 19 in a road accident, to polish young hockey players and beginners at grass root level as his ''contribution to uplift hockey from its present miserable status''.
Asserting that 'Chakde India' was a turning point in his life, Mr Negi said earlier he led the life in oblivion after he was dubbed ''traitor'' following India's 1-7 defeat in the 1982 Asian Games final against Pakistan.
''Shahrukh Khan congratulated me via media for this dance show saying if a Bollywood star can play a hockey player's role then why a hockey veteran can not do SRK's role,'' chuckled Mr Negi, adding the King Khan would release his autobiography book 'Gloom to Glory' next year.