Why Can’t We Be Meryl Steep?  Bollywood Reacts

Prasoon Joshi: “Its not about copying and questioning ourselves vis a vis what a Hollywood star does or doesn’t. Every country has a different reality.I have full faith in our democratic system which is full of diverse voices and we raise our voices whenever it’s required as a country.historically we are self critical as well and ready to correct ourselves if  we deviate. The multi-party system we have is testimony of that.But if we want to learn something from them we should do so in a holistic way. They do so not just for political issues but the Hollywood stars have been active be it for their internal industry issues like female and male stars pay parity, lending support to screen writers getting their due or for social causes be it health landmines global warming ,etc The sense of responsibility has to be an overall one and the mindsets have to change from -we are just entertainers -to the realisation that we are conscious  citizens too and our art allows us a platform that must be used responsibly.”

Pooja Bhatt: “I do speak up when I think it’s necessary. I can’t speak for the rest of my fraternity.”

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Swara Bhaskara: “Quite simply because citizens in the USA and their right to freedom of expression is respected and protected by law.In india we are jailing people for facebookposts! Look at what happened to SRK and Aamir for their ‘intolerance’ comments. Ghajini was banned in Gujarat because Aamir supported the Narmada Bachaao aandolan.When we target our celebs for taking political positions are you surprised about our not taking a stance on political issues?”

Pooja Bedi:  “Shiv Sainiks had hurled stones that whizzed past us while me and my dad gave interviews in support of the release of My Name Is Khan.But cops jumped on them within seconds and  took them away in police vans. It’s my right to speak up. And my right to be protected by the police  I have always openly spoken up against the Shiv Sena and MNS on news channels and social media against their  hooliganism and moral policing.  And I’ve protested in marches along with Anna Hazare on the Jan Lokpal Bill issue, etc. Ours is  a democracy  not a dictatorship. We have the right to our opinion. And I exercise  it.”

Lilette Dubey:  “Those who have strong political convictions do take a stand in India too.But there are few who feel strongly enough to speak on a public platform . Most people voice their opinions privately . But this is true abroad too. Not all of them speak out publicly . You have to be strong enough to take the flak too from the Establishment for your views .Maybe most people would rather not get onto a public controversy regarding their personal opinions .But Meryl Streep speaking out publicly was marvellous because it mirrored the thoughts of so many and she didn’t care about the repercussions because she thought it was important to speak . That IS a lesson to all of us.”

Pallavi Joshi: “Because our film industry has always been divided on political standings. Our country doesn’t recognize correctness. Only leanings. Hence we have left learners, right learners, a little left of centre and a little right of centre. Finally when you are up there on the stage you want applause. And that will only come from topics that unite us. Hence we make shows where we poke fun at and degrade our peers. Artistes are sensitive. Stats cannot afford to be so. Hence art has no place here. It’s only entertainment entertainment and entertainment.”

Gul Panag : “Our movie industry does speak up. Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan spoke on the ‘growing intolerance.’ Look what happened.”

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