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The last five minutes of the launch of “Ye Jawaani Teri” from Meri Pyari Bindu seemed like a script written by a bunch of media persons. As soon as the questions pertaining to the new song that Parineeti Chopra and Ayushmann Khurrana released today, were exhausted, there was a bombardment of all those posers- deemed ‘controversial’ – that make up a celebrity’s nightmare.
It started with a journalist asking Parineeti her take on Bollywood playback singer Sonu Nigam’s Twitter rant against the use of loudspeakers during Muslim’s call of prayer, azaan, that has put him in the centre of a row.
The actor looked at her co-star and laughed, as if she expected that this would come their way, before stating, “I really feel everybody has his or her own opinion and it is his or her choice to state that in their home or on Twitter. Personally, I don’t have any opinion on this. Main apni life mein mast hoon.”
Giving his two cents on the issue, Ayushmann added, “I think that’s the beauty of our country. In our democracy, we can give and take opinions. We can say good and bad things. Still, we all are living. That’s the beauty of our country. You say something, it might be liked or criticised. But yes, being in the public eye… It depends on you how you want to use that tool.”
The next question was on the recent video of a civilian tied to an army jeep on Kashmir, allegedly as a defence by the army men against stone pelters. The journalist assumed that as Parineeti comes from an army background, her opinion on the grave issue mattered.
The question caught her off guard and she looked clueless. “I haven’t watched this video. So, I don’t know what you are talking about. I need to watch the video and then will be able to comment on it,” was all that Parineeti managed to say.
Then came the question, which proved to be a big spoiler for the team of Raabta yesterday. It was about Kulbushan Jadhav, the former Indian naval officer who has been awarded the death sentence by a Pakistani military court on charges of alleged ‘spying’.
Looked like Parineeti had learnt from Raabta lead actor Sushant Singh Rajput-journalist fiasco around the issue, as she chose her words carefully, while replying.
“I really feel I am the least important and least worthy to comment on it. Our government is on it. They are dealing with it the way they should do and they will. The government will do what’s best for the country and the person involved. I don’t think my opinion matters so I would not like to give it,” she said.
For the uninitiated, Sushant and a journalist indulged in an argument at the Raabta trailer launch after the actor said that he didn’t have knowledge enough to speak on Jadhav’s matter. The scribe commented that he shouldn’t have dodged that question as it concerned national interest.
When asked if it is necessary for celebrities to express their opinions on various issues in public, Parineeti said that one can’t be forced to say things just because he or she is a public figure.
“To each, his own. We are actors because we love acting and entertaining people. But just because our voices reach the country, you can’t suddenly force me to have an interest or opinion in something that doesn’t concern me. If I am genuinely a sports enthusiast, then I will comment on it. But if I don’t have the knowledge or the interest, I shouldn’t be forced to give an opinion just because I am in front of you. That’s what I feel. Those who want to comment, comment. Those who don’t want to comment, don’t. It’s a democracy but I think we are forgetting that,” she said.
Ayushmann, it seemed, didn’t have a problem in sharing his view on Jadhav’s issue.
“I think both the counties have totally different narratives. For them (Pakistan) he is a spy, for us he is our former defense personnel… People don’t even know what’s happening there. ISI, RAW… You and I can’t talk about it. How can we say who’s right, who’s wrong. Being an Indian, we can only support our country and our soldiers,” the actor said.
As the press conference was announced closed, a journalist raised his hand to ask something. Graciously enough, Parineeti asked him to put his question across. “With the whole controversy surrounding Abhay Deol, will you guys ever endorse fairness creams?” This left her and Ayushmann exasperated as the actor sighed, “Main kaise khush karun tumko? (How do I make you happy) Koi bhi topic nahi chhoda tum logon ne! (You guys didn’t leave any topic).”
One or two ‘bouncers’ from the media in a Bollywood event is usual, but this went down as one of those rare ones, where the journalists had a field day.