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Actor Randeep Hooda says it has become difficult for artistes in India to express their opinions on socio-political issues without being labelled or evading judgments, and that’s why actors prefer keeping their views to themselves. Randeep said that like any other Indian citizen, artistes have the same sentiments towards the country and there are times they want to share their views but the fear of bashing stops them from doing so. Mentioning his own experience, the 40-year-old actor said, “I will state an example, I am doing this film Battle of Saragarhi. I was doing infantry training for it, when one day, I woke up to the news of Uri attacks. It wasn’t war. These boys (army men) were sleeping and they were attacked. I was affected by it then I went for the morning drill and there were young boys all 19-20 of age. I looked into their eyes and thought to myself that it could have been them.”
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He added, “There were talks going on about isolating them (Pakistan) diplomatically and economically. I went on social media where #BanPakArtists was trending. So, I wrote we should also isolate them culturally. I used that hashtag and for that got a lot of brickbats. I got silent treatment and still get that. It was my attempt to stop violence but it was seen as something against artistes. We are artistes but we are also citizens of a country.”
Citing the example of Hollywood actor Meryl Streep’s powerful speech at Golden Globes two months ago in which she criticised US President Donald Trump, Randeep said that Indian actors can never pull off something like that. “Everyone heard Meryl Streep’s beautiful speech at Golden Globes. She was lauded. She was very witty she was to the point. I also lauded her. When she said that a lot of people here said that why don’t Indian actors talk about these things. This is exactly why we don’t. Is it okay that if you speak against the establishment it is freedom of speech and if you speak something you like about the establishment, you are labelled as bootlicker and what not. Why can’t we express an opinion or desire without being labelled? That’s the problem,” he said.
Randeep Hooda at the launch of the second season of MTV Big F. See pics
Randeep interacted with the media at the launch of the second season of MTV Big F, a finite television episodic series presenting stories around women’s sexual desires. The actor is hosting the series, in his maiden television venture.