(G.N.S) Dt. 05
Actor Prakash Rai has become politically vocal and a firm critic of right-wing extremism after the death of journalist-activist friend Gauri Lankesh. Despite being trolled and slammed, he continues to be outspoken in his criticism of BJP leaders, including Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath. Rai, who is busy directing his movie in Goa
How do you explain your sudden leap from art to activism?
The realization to be politically conscious has dawned on me now. As an artiste, I’ve always responded to environmental issues and now I’m trying to widen it. Recent political developments and the killing of Gauri Lankesh have forced me to act against the design of silencing narratives.
Your renewed activism is being interpreted as not doing many films, and trying to make a career out of politics.
My films are releasing across the country in different languages every two weeks. I’ve 12 big projects on the sets. What astounds me is that the same people did not question my joblessness when I was adopting a village, working for society or going around in the forests of Karnataka, trying to connect with people at the grass root level and dealing with their issues.
After you recently claimed that actors in politics are a disaster, Rajinikant,Vishal and Upendra have plunged into politics…
My statement should be understood in context. Not just an actor, even an engineer, doctor or any other professional can become a politician. But, politics in itself is not a profession. I was only advising the voter not to vote as a fan, but as a citizen. For MGR, NTR and Jayalalithaa, the equations were different. Now we need to see if the actors stand for the change we need. Their future depends on their manifestos and how voters accept them.
You said you have no inclination to enter politics, unless there is a challenge by a political force. You have already earned the wrath of right-wing sympathizers. What bigger challenge would you want?
That I’ve become politically vocal does not mean I want to join politics. I have no inclination to enter politics, as of now. If I’m forced by the situation in future, I’ll decide. People who have no answers to my questions are branding me a left-wing sympathizer, Congressman or anti-Hindu, but I’m none.
Union minister Anantkumar Hegde is raking up communal passions by commenting on the Constitution and secularism…
His apology for these comments is a sundara sullu (beautiful lie). Every statement that he has made after becoming minister is on communal politics, which society should disapprove of. He talks about reviewing the Constitution but he’s not even aware that changes should be towards the Preamble.
You tweeted and congratulated Modi for the BJP’s victory in Gujarat and asked him why the party could not achieve its target of more than 150 seats. What does BJP’s 99-seat victory indicate to you?
The BJP said even 149 is not something to rejoice about, but they ended up with 99. The numbers have given enough indication of growing rural disenchantment with the BJP, across the country. People are looking for inward growth, especially on issues of farmers, unemployment and rural economy.
(G.N.S) Dt. 05