Actors are not supposed to be crusaders, says Anupam Kher

I became unpopular with so many people but it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, I've to sleep peacefully with my thoughts," Kher told PTI in an interview.
Bollywood actor Anupam Kher
Bollywood actor Anupam Kher (Photo | EPS)

MUMBAI: Actor Anupam Kher says that while he has participated in protests in an individual capacity, he believes artists shouldn't act as activists.

The negative impact of demonstrations and rallies is the subject of his next film "Kaagaz 2". Directed by VK Prakash, the film highlights hardships of an ordinary individuals due to protests and rallies.

"Actors and entertainers are not supposed to be crusaders. In an individual capacity, I've raised my voice about whatever has bothered me and faced the consequences. I became unpopular with so many people but it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, I've to sleep peacefully with my thoughts," Kher told PTI in an interview.

The actor, who took part in the India Against Corruption movement in 2011, said the ideal way to resolve issues is through negotiations.

"We are an independent country, thanks to the 'aandolan' that (Mahatma) Gandhi ji did. We are an outcome of Quit India movement, non-cooperation movement, but the people of India were together, it was not something that is just helping you (few people) and not others."

Kher, speaking about the ongoing farmers protests, said that while everyone has the right to protest, it should not affect the life of ordinary people.

"Everybody has a right to freedom to move around, freedom of expression, but not at the inconvenience of other people. This is the current scenario in our country, the protest, just because it is called farmers protest, I don't think farmers all over the country feel like that, farmers are givers.

"We are made to feel defensive by being told that we are talking about "annadaata"...I feel those who pay taxes are also contributing towards the growth of the country. I feel it is not okay to make common people's lives miserable," the actor added.

Referring to the 2021 farmers protest, Kher expressed his discontentment over the chain of events that unfolded after protesting farmers stormed Delhi's historic Red Fort. "...That visuals will always haunt me when protestors reach Red Fort and they took out my country's flag and put some other flag, I'll not sympathise with such people, even if it is at the cost of being unpopular with some people," the actor said.

Kher, 62, is thrilled about "Kaagaz 2", which follows actor Satish Kaushik's quest for justice after the tragic death of his daughter, and how he seeks ban on rallies and protests. In the movie, Kher plays the role of a lawyer, who helps Kaushik.

"It is a very topical film, it is a very complex film, it has that Rashomon impact, that everyone has their own point of view," he said.

The veteran actor claims "Kaagaz 2" was the“"passion"”project of Kaushik, who passed away last year in March at the age of 66 following a heart attack.

Kaushik directed the 2021 critically-acclaimed movie,“"Kaagaz", which was headlined by Pankaj Tripathi.

Kher revealed that he and Kaushik were to collaborate on two more films and he is trying to fulfil the late actor's wish by bringing out those stories.

"There was one film that he was making with me and Darshan (Kumar), it was called 'Drinking Partners'. Rumi Jaffery had written it and after Satish heard the story, he wanted to make it, even though Rumi was keen himself to make it. So, now I'll request him (Rumi) to do that.

"There was a play called ‘Uss Paar Ka Nazara' based on a play called ‘View from the Bridge', he wanted to make that with me,” Kher said, adding, Kaushik was at the creative prime and was full of ideas.

"Kaagaz 2", which will be released in theatres on March 1, is produced by Shashi Satish Kaushik, Ratan Jain, and Ganesh Jain.

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