By Hindustan Times
It is not often that Bollywood openly criticises politicians or brands them as corrupt. But this time around, veteran actor Paresh Rawal has done just that, and in no uncertain words.
“Sometimes, I want to become a Naxalite, take a gun and shoot these politicians. They are third-rate, shameless people without any morality,” the 62-year-old actor reportedly said at a public event in Pune recently. Rawal was referring to the high levels of corruption in the political system and added, “What about the plight of the common man? How will they even manage to survive?”
Rawal’s comment has found the support of a section of the film fraternity. “More than what he has said, it is time to think that even someone as non-controversial and responsible as Paresh bhai is so frustrated that he has spoken out openly,” says filmmaker Anees Bazmee, who has known Rawal for more than 20 years and worked with him in several films. “Paresh bhai wouldn’t have done it to be in the limelight, he doesn’t need to,” feels Bazmee.
Paresh Rawal-Akshay Kumar in a still from the controversy-stricken Oh My God
Agrees trade expert Joginder Tuteja, who says that Rawal never uses his celebrity status to garner publicity for himself. “He has been an apolitical person and his life has revolved around his work. This statement has been made from the common man’s point of view.” Trade expert Atul Mohan is happy that Rawal brought this matter up. “He is just using his celebrity status to voice the concerns of the common man because otherwise these go unheard,” says Mohan.
However, trade expert Taran Adarsh feels that someone as experienced as Rawal should not have lost his cool. “He has definitely gone too far,” says Adarsh.
Could this have triggered it?
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has said that Hindu beliefs are being attacked in Bollywood movies and that she would raise this issue in Parliament. She has referred to two recent films, Oh My God and Student of the Year. Paresh Rawal plays the lead role in OMG, and is shown to be a non-believer, while Student of the Year has references to Radha being invited to the dance floor.