Let's celebrate the spirit of India: Priyanka Chopra

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Mumbai, Jan 25 (IANS) Bollywood needs to set a secular example for the rest of the country, says Priyanka Chopra.

The actress, who has carved a niche for herself, feels that every actor needs to create an awareness around themselves that takes them beyond the role of an entertainer.

"I love this country. I don't want to be accused of sounding preachy when I praise my country. I'm extremely proud of being an Indian. I cling to my culture and roots with extreme passion," Priyanka, who will seen in "Drona" and "Love Story 2050" this year, told IANS.

"People may find it funny and fake, but I'm vocally possessive and protective about our image abroad. That comes from my days when I was Miss World and I represented my country in so many ways. Today, that habit remains with me. I feel if somewhere in your heart you carry a pride for your country, it will show," she added.

"This Republic Day let's vouch to present a united front for our audiences. This is an industry where a genius composer like Naushad Ali composed one of the most beautiful bhajans 'O duniya ke rakhwale', which was written by Shakeel Badayuni and sung by Mohammad Rafi. Do we need any more proof of the film industry's supreme secularism? This Republic Day I'd like to celebrate the spirit of India."

Priyanka feels it's time we stopped playing the blame game.

"We keep complaining every single day about what the politicians do or not do for us. But do we as citizens fulfil our duties. Do we vote? Do we choose the right leaders? Do we pay our taxes? Do we have the basic civic sense to look after at least our own neighbourhood, if not the city? Do we make sure our garbage doesn't go out of our house and dirty the streets? Before we ask the country what it can give to you, please ask yourself what you can give to your country."

The actress is proud of what the country has given her.

"India has given us a secular constitution where people from diverse religions and cultures co-exist beautifully. It's an amazing social structure! We live together as one."

Priyanka also has a message as an actor.

"Please stop thinking of us as rivals at each other's throats. I worked with Kareena Kapoor and Lara Dutta in my two earliest films. We worked without any kind of tension. Now I hear I'm at loggerheads with Kangana while shooting for Madhur Bhandarkar's 'Fashion'. That I'm feeling threatened by her presence, when in fact we get along famously.

"Kangana and I share a lot in common. Like me she's an outsider who has been wholeheartedly embraced and adopted by Mumbai. Besides we've our individual space in 'Fashion'. So this reported friction is again fiction."

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