In a session at ThePrint ‘Democracy Wall’, actor Richa Chadha also said that people need to realise that governments needed to be more accountable.
Noida: Women actors in Bollywood were just waiting for the right time to speak up against sexual harassment in the industry, actor Richa Chadha said Tuesday.
“I think people are just gathering ammunition and proof, and when the time is right, I think the women of Bollywood will strike,” Chadha told students at Amity University in Noida during an interactive session at ThePrint’s ‘Democracy Wall’.
Democracy Wall is a monthly free speech campus initiative organised by ThePrint in collaboration with Facebook. The first event at Amity University campus in Noida featured Chadha, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and comedy group Aisi Taisi Democracy.
Asked why Bollywood stars didn’t make political statements like their Hollywood counterparts, Chadha said people needed better role models than celebrities.
“Don’t ask the wrong person the wrong questions, because chances are that people in the film industry don’t have that much exposure to the outside world, or may not have invested that much in their education,” she said.
Chadha said it was also about liability, and a film personality couldn’t be expected to take a political stand when they had Rs 800 crore on the line with a Friday release.
“The minute someone speaks here, they will lose their livelihood, which is pay for their family, their spot boys, their makeup artists, their future ventures. Every action has an economic consequence,” she said.
Chadha also spoke of the importance of making the government more accountable to people.
“The meaning of democracy is that you can say what you want, when you want, how you want, and that your government is accountable to you,” Chadha said.
“I’m not left, right, or centre, I’m no wing. I’m a taxpayer and I want accountability,” she said.
Chadha said that nothing has happened so far because people are scared.
“They forget that this is the jantantra, the rule of the masses… You voted for a government, the government didn’t do right by you, and you have a right to question them,” she said.
Speaking about the current government, she said. “It seems the key to ruling this country is to say – ‘Oh you have nothing to eat, sing the national anthem. Don’t know the lyrics? then learn them, stand and sing it.’”
When asked about the protests against the release of Padmaavat, Chadha said she had backed the right of the film’s makers to release it.
“If anybody should have a problem with that film, it should be with the concept. Why do women have to burn themselves if the husband has died? They (Rajput group Karni Sena) want us to get intimidated. Ask yourself, what does a terrorist want? It wants to terrorise. So don’t be afraid,” she said.