Mumbai, Jul 26 (PTI) Singer-writer Swanand Kirkire says in the current climate in the country where people are quick to take offence over anything, there is an opportunity for artistes to evolve as he believes they must look for newer ways to express themselves. The two-time National Award-winning lyricist said it is tough to master the trick of being vocal about one's opinion without hurting anyone's sentiments.
'We are navigating through such times where everything is too sensitive. People are getting offended by everything and an issue is made of everything, especially cinema. There's some sort of anger, resentment which comes out on films. 'You've to be extremely careful. In a way, it's good for us. We have to be conscious of what we are saying and yet figure out a way to say it. When you're pushed against the wall, you think more,' Kirkire told PTI in an interview.
The singer most recently featured in the short film 'Pandit Usman', written and directed by Akram Hassan. The film, which released on YouTube, chronicles the story of Usman, played by Kirkire, who undergoes a heart transplant which changes his life. With the heart of a Hindu man now beating inside him, Usman starts enjoying the best of both the religions, much to the annoyance of people around him. The multi-hyphenate artiste said he agreed to play the affable protagonist as the film offered a 'simple and sweet story' about religious biases. 'We are trying to say that people should open their hearts and spread love. I did this film because the tone of the story is so right, it doesn't pinch you anywhere. All we need is love (but) all we do is hate.' Though the 48-year-old actor was sold on the idea, he was worried about whether the film would do well. 'A lot of other people also had that worry. When we finished the film we took it to many OTT platforms. They all loved it but weren't sure of releasing it. 'We could understand that. But Akram had made the film with so much conviction, it had to resonate with people.' For Kirkire, the film is relevant in today's times as it aims to spread the message of communal harmony.
Recalling his growing up years in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Kirkire said religion was never at the forefront, but the current politics of the country has made it a talking point. 'The politics of the country has brought all these things to forefront. This is what has changed... When we talk about religion everywhere, it starts coming into picture. Religion is always there in the back of our minds.
'It didn't matter much earlier because people would say, 'Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isaai, aapas mein sab bhai-bhai.' We would sing this song. As long as you sing that song, you think of the message. But once you stop singing the song, you don't think about its meaning.' The 'Bawara Mann' singer said the job of an artiste is to recognise the faultlines in the society by first acknowledging that 'something has failed'. 'One way of living has failed people and they are disappointed with it, which is why they're looking at another way. 'Let's respect that but also start giving them the dose of love from scratch. Film artistes are like magicians, we have to show the audience the magic of life again,' he added. PTI JUR RB RDS RDS