Actor and CINTAA head Sushant Singh apparently had to part ways from his show Savdhaan India for taking a stand for attack on recent college students in the country. Sushant speaks about the issue in details.
You tweeted pretty late it seemed you were hurt?
Of course. I love that show. I had given my soul to that show. I did not do the show for money, I did the show with utmost honesty. I did the show because I got the opportunity to talk to people about the issues and problems they prevail in society. I would feel very happy when people would say that the show is raising awareness, I was happy I was being socially responsible at the same time through the show. I was connected very much with the show. The journey is ended and I am hurt, I am a human being.
How did the journey came to an end?
I was told in the night by the channel that 20th would be my last day of shoot, I was told there are budgetary constraints. I was not aware this will become such a big thing. Someone on twitter said, 'Is this is price for speaking truth'. Even if it is, it is a very small price, it is work, it will come and go. I had no idea if this will be linked to the protest and that it will become a big news. I had not done this with that kind of intention, I am a very non-controversial guy. I take stand on issues and I will take it. I don't want to become an issue, that will dilute the attention from the main issue. I will survive. It is the channel's property they can end my contract anytime. Contractually it has to be a month's notice, but to shoot during that time or not it is upto them. I don't want to link both these things. I went for the protest and then in the night I got the message that this will be my last day of shoot. Maybe it is a coincidence, maybe this was planned. I don't want to speculate. Let's not deviate from the issue.
Did you ask the question why?
No. I take things in my stride. Questioning becomes begging.
Did they gave you any hint?
I think budget is not working. This they gave me yesterday. I was not aware about budgetary issues earlier.
Freedom of speech is not existing today?
I would not say it is not alive, you are allowed to talk but you do pay price for it.
If you continue to raise your voice, you will lose out on work?
So be it. If that is the price I am more than willing to pay for it as it is about the future of my country, about kids. Maybe I will earn less. It is a filmsy thing to even think about.
I am hopeful, thanks to all the students and all those who are supporting it. We are not dead as a society and collective consciousness can change things, we have seen that.
Do you think freedom of speech and expression doesn't existe in the country?
It is there,but the kind of price one has to pay is huge. They allow you to speak but then they beat you with the sticks. When I was in college Mandal Commission was introduced, being a general category student I too had face issues. I did not get admission in the collage easily. I got 74.5 percentage. I wanted to complete Bachelor's in Arts. Because of the quota system I was not getting admission. I was hurt and due to Mandal commission the quota ration was increased.We also started a protest on the streets. We had even thrown petrol bombs,we have done that in front of our college. But they never beat us up like that. Without Principal's permission police cannot enter in college premise,that is the law. You just barge in and beat girls. They have destroyed the country. But on the brighter note I want to thank the students.
Off late not just this government. I am not fan of previous governments as well because none of them have worked on basic education,health care in this country. That is why we are where we are today. There are no schools in villages,if schools are there then there is no roof and if both things are there then they employ teachers who don't know anything about teaching. I have always felt that as Indians ,our concise is dead. We don't get angry at anything,do whatever with us,unless Nirbhaya is killed or incident like Hyderabad happens. If something henious crime happens the only we come out and then once again go back to into our shell.We are only worried about our house. We throw garbage outside because it is not our country.That is also our Matrbhumi. I thought we were dead. I had lost hopes but thanks to those students.
I even thought that what is the point of raising kids in this country. I thought of shifting to them somewhere else,which lot of people are doing. If we say that it is also consider as a crime. I have regained my faith due to these students. Country's soul is not dead.
Can showbiz make a difference?
These issues do not affect rich people. I also belong to this category. Prices of onion doesn't not affect to us, we don't have to think twice before buying anything. That is why I think we don't pay attention to it. There could be differences of ideologies. May be people who are not speaking about it they don't have any issues with it. Why should we wait for someone to speak about it. In which country stars have brought revolution? It is only youth Or the common man. If I feel it is right issue as a father or citizen, it is my responsibility to stand with them because tomorrow I am answerable to my kids. I abhor the previous generation for the kind of society they have given us. They only cared for labour, their home. We never cared about whether kids in villages are getting an education or not. Who will put pressure on the government? There are protest against Padmavaat but not against issues which are affecting daily life. If I do that my kids will ask me what I have done for them. I have done it so that I can sleep peacefully.
'Rangbaaz' and then nothing else. Let's see. I am not that busy star.
Will you accept the show again if offered or you will have malice against them?
I don't have malice against anyone. I am but hurt. This is the second time I am shunted out. Now now.
They want me to believe it is a coincidence, let it be. Life is too long.