Actress Raveena Tandon says she has always had an “activist streak” in her but has no plans of joining politics.
“I’m the kind who can’t toe any party line. And I have problems with almost every political party. There’s no party I have come across whose ideology matches with mine. There are people whom I believe in now, but I just prefer to be a free voice,” she says.
The 42-year-old actress says that she would rather have an opinion than lose it in the din of party politics.
“I’m not going to be told what I can or should say, or what my sensibilities are. If my sensibilities say that something is wrong, but the party says, ‘waah-waah’, I just can’t do that. So I would rather be a voice which is not scared of anyone than join politics and lose it,” Raveena told a news agency.
The actress also believes that to bring in change in the country, citizens must start by “being the change” they want to witness.
“We need to start being the change we want to see. We can criticise all we want, but if goons keep getting elected because of powers like ‘bhaigiri’ or ‘moneygiri’, then we don’t have any right to complain. We lose the authority because we put them there,” she says.
Until like-minded people come together, the system will not change, she points out. “Things will continue like this,” she warns.
Raveena says she has often been criticised for praising leaders for doing their job well.
“Yes, there are people who I think are doing good work, while people around them might not be doing (such) good work.
That doesn’t mean I’m supporting a particular party,” she says.
“Today, if you say you are proud of your prime minister or president, you will be trolled. We used to be proud when we said that Indira Gandhi was the first woman PM of India. But today, it is like taboo. Praise Modiji or Rahul Gandhi… and people will say that you are politically inclined,” Raveena adds.
The actress, who stars in the recently released revenge thriller “Maatr”, regrets that rape is rampant in the country, and stresses that criminals are not afraid of the law anymore.
“We come from a land where women were worshipped as goddesses. Where has that respect gone now?” India, she adds, needs a strong legal structure.
“We talk about moving towards a new, progressive, liberal and educated India. Then why are mindsets not changing? Had these things happened 60 or 70 years ago, we’d understand. But not now.”
Raveena, who is often attacked on social media, says she is indifferent to what is said about her on Twitter. Actors were trolled even before internet came to the fore, she adds.
“I don’t care. I don’t even read the tweets. I’m not interested in playing the victim. I say what I want to when I want to, whether the people like it or not. But trust me, everybody gets trolled. We actors get trolled even while shooting on the streets.
“We have faced all this, the abuses and comments people pass when we shoot for songs. You all are facing it for the first time, but we’ve been facing it for a long time. As I said, the basic mindset (of the people) needs to change.”