NEW DELHI: Actor Vivek Oberoi denied the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi is propaganda and cited Richard Attenborough’s iconic film Gandhi to argue that his film has narrated the journey of evolution of a small boy who sold tea at a railway station who occupied high office in the country.
Claiming he had been offered to contest elections five times by different parties, Oberoi also brushed aside his political aspirations.
Speaking exclusively to this newspaper, he argued that India has a vibrant democracy and space for all sections.
“In past five years, a number of people spoke against Modi and raised the bogey of intolerance. Did the Modi government take actions against any of them? That proves that democracy is not only diverse but vibrant,” said Oberoi.
The filmstar, who claimed to be “100 per cent vegetarian”, also offered a few suggestions for Modi.
“He should work for empowerment of women through education. He should also not stretch himself working long hours and take break regularly like his visit to the Kedarnath temple,” Oberoi said when asked to state what he wanted Modi to do one thing and not do one thing if he became Prime Minister again.
Asked if the biopic was propaganda, Oberoi cited Attenborough’s Gandhi saying, “Reviewers then argued why the film didn’t focus on Gandhi neglecting his sons, to which Attenborough retorted that his concern was not a ‘pita’ (father) but ‘Rashtrapita’ (father of the nation). We spent a year to research on biographies, articles and even looked at stories mentioned in Mann ki Baat radio programme,” he added.
Actor stirs up a storm with tweet
Oberoi faced the fury of social media users for sharing a “distasteful” meme comparing poll results to actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s personal life. The National Commission for Women also sent a notice to Oberoi seeking an explanation for sharing an “insulting” and “misogynist” Twitter post.
He, however, claimed there was much ado about a “non-issue” and that people were unnecessarily “politicising” the post.