Prakash Raj: History will not forgive those in Bollywood who didn’t speak up

“I come from certain movements in Karnataka. And above all as an artist my conscience says I need to speak out, when there are forces out to crush voices,” said Prakash Raj in an interaction with NH

IANS Photo
IANS Photo

Bhasha Singh

“I come from certain movements in Karnataka. And above all as an artist my conscience says I need to speak out, when there are forces out to crush voices,” said Prakash Raj in an interaction with National Herald’s Bhasha Singh.

How do you see the current scenario in the country?

I have realised that it is important for me to be a voice today. In the current scenario where fascism is on rise and they are desperate to hold the power with different agenda, I see them losing, I see them being read well, I see the mask coming out and people realizing. I want to say that I see that people are suffering. Democratic space is shrinking like anything. As a citizen I am worried, I am concerned and I am raising my voice to change this.

Are you interested in electoral politics, lot of talk is going around you...?

I need to be what I am. I want to be a fearless citizen. I see myself as catalyst of this change. I am very sure that I need not to be there in electoral system to send these people out. I believe there are bigger important people and I do feel that these people are going out. This government is losing ground.

Prakash Raj: “There are other reasons also in Bollywood which are making them silent. I can understand their helplessness. They are not sensitive enough or sensitised enough to connect with reality. They live in a myth... History will not forgive them”

In Hollywood actors are taking very strong political stand against the political leaders, to be very specific they are very vocal against American President Trump. But we don’t find these kind of voices here, Why?

It depends how you are sensitised and how deep are your concerns about society. On what basis you have become an artist. Compare to all of them, I come from background of theatre and literature. I come from certain movements in Karnataka. And above all as an artist my conscience says I need to speak out, when there are forces to crush voices. There are other reasons also in Bollywood which are making them silent. I can understand their helplessness. They are not sensitive enough or sensitised enough to connect with reality. They live in a myth. And when most of the celebrities don’t speak out then we assume they are in myth. When the change happens, they will pay the price then. Then the people will ask them why didn’t they speak up then. History will not forgive them. Those who could have spoken, more then could have, should have spoken, time will unearth reason behind it. Some skeletons will come out and say they had other vested interest.

What was your turning point, or should I say when your myth broke?

I was talking in different spheres, but the killing of Gauri Lankesh really disturbed me. We were friends for the last 35 years. Gauri’s father was our mentor. When death came to your door step, then you cant say everything is alright. And when I spoke, I started questioning. Then the kind of onslaught that came to me was mind-blowing. I realised I was living in myth of actor, thinking there are fans, people like me, adore me. Then I thought no problem, I saw it coming and I have to answer to myself. That I am still doing. It is important for me, very important.

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