While Deepika Padukone has been vocal about mental health, she was recently questioned on her reluctance to speak out about other social issues. In an interview with The Print, a member of the audience reminded the actor of the open letter that 49 eminent citizens, including Aparna Sen and Shyam Benegal, had written to Narendra Modi voicing their concern about the rise in lynchings and hate crimes against minorities including Dalits, Muslims and Christians. She asked why, despite being an influencer, she had remained silent on the matter. Here’s what Deepika had to say:
"“Do you believe anything would change? I’m someone who’d like to work in a way I can also see change. We all have perspectives. Just because I’m not voicing it publicly doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion.” " - Deepika Padukone, Actor
When asked whether she fears repercussions for speaking out on social and political issues, Deepika said that while backlash was not something she had considered, it was unfair to expect her to take up every cause. “I’ve focussed all my energies towards mental health. Then I’ll have to stop acting and become a full-time activist for lack of a better word,” she said. She added that rather than choosing to be more vocal on certain issues, she would prefer to deal with them in a “way that is constructive.”
"“If I’m going to say something publicly, I’m going to rant on Twitter, if I’m going to give interviews and if I don’t see change, that’s a waste of my effort and energy. So I would rather do it in a way that is constructive. I’ll still work towards that. I’m in a place where I want to see change in every aspect of my life. But can I do it in a sensible way where I am going to see change where people are going to listen? I think we want to see change. Do we see that happening? I don’t think the voices that have already spoken out are any less influential. ”" - Deepika Padukone
A member of the audience also asked Deepika whether she thought it was necessary for Bollywood celebrities to be questioned on their opinion about every issue that makes the headlines. The actor responded saying that while she had no right to dictate the questions she’s asked on a public forum, it’s unfair if only Bollywood is expected to have an answer. She said,
"“Businessmen are not asked these questions, cricketers are not asked these questions… Please ask Ratan Tata ji about Aarey. I really want to know what he thinks. We’re brought on to platforms like this and are asked to opine on everything that goes on, right from the government to #MeToo…You should ask some of the cricketers about #MeToo – I don’t see that happening.”" - Deepika Padukone
“Sure I’m not in any place to say what kind of questions I should be asked but why subject it to only a film star? Aren’t we all responsible citizens and should we all not have an opinion?” she added.
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