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  Entertainment   In Other News  14 Jan 2017  When will Bollywood have its Streep moment?

When will Bollywood have its Streep moment?

THE ASIAN AGE. | SUBHASH K JHA
Published : Jan 14, 2017, 12:13 am IST
Updated : Jan 14, 2017, 2:38 am IST

It’s difficult to mirror Meryl Streep’s stirring Golden Globes speech in India, say B-townies

Meryl Streep at the Golden Globe award ceremony.
 Meryl Streep at the Golden Globe award ceremony.

Meryl Streep brought Hollywood to a standstill with her rousing speech at the 2017 edition of the Golden Globe awards this week. Her eloquent speech called out President-Elect Donald Trump and criticised him on his insensitivity. Streep also made an impassioned appeal to other artistes to stand up for social issues and take a stance, as she addressed topics like immigration in her discourse.

Even as she made her speech, Indians wondered why it’s so difficult for Indian stars to make such speeches and call out people in power on such huge platforms. Well, Bollywood believes that there’s a lot more that goes into taking a stand, and not everyone can be a Ms Streep here in India.

Swara Bhaskar
Quite simply, citizens in the US and their right to freedom of expression is respected and protected by law. In India, we’re jailing people for even Facebook posts! Look at what happened to Shah Rukh Khan and their ‘intolerance’ comments. Ghajini got into trouble in Gujarat because Aamir supported the Narmada Bachao Aandolan. When we target our celebrities 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 my dad and I gave interviews in support of My Name is Khan’s release. But cops jumped on them, and within seconds took them away in police vans. It’s my right to speak up, and my right to be protected by the police. I’ve always spoken openly against the Shiv Sena and the MNS on news channels and social media — against their hooliganism and moral policing. I’ve protested in marches along with Anna Hazare on the Jan Lokpal Bill issue. Ours is a democracy, not a dictatorship. We have the right to our opinion, and I exercise it.

Prasoon Joshi
It’s 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 is required, as a county. Historically, we’re self-critical as well and ready to correct ourselves, if we deviate.

The multi-party system we have is a testimony to that. But if we want to learn something from them [Hollywood], we should do it in a holistic way. They do so not for political issues, but have been active otherwise too. Be it for their internal industry issues like the wage gap, supporting their screenwriters to get them their due, or for social causes like health, landmines, global warming and more. 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.

 Lillete Dubey
Those who have strong political convictions do take a stand in India too. But there are a few who feel strongly enough to speak about it 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 into a public controversy regarding their personal opinions. But Meryl Streep speaking out publicly was marvellous, because it mirrored the thoughts of so many. 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
Our film industry has always been divided on political standings; our country doesn’t recognise correctness, only leanings. Hence, we have left leaning people, right leaning ones, a little left of the centre, and a little right of the centre people. Finally, when you’re 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 and degrade our peers. Artistes are sensitive; stars cannot afford to be so. Hence, art has no place here. It’s entertainment, entertainment, and entertainment.

Tags: meryl streep, pooja bedi, golden globe awards, donald trump