‘My ears bleed when I listen to item numbers’
Brought up by a poet and married to one, actor Shabana Azmi is not a fan of modern bawdy lyrics
Veteran actress and social activist Shaban Azmi is well known for her strong opinions and spirited attitude. When asked about the way films have evolved over time, the actress said, “These item numbers are forced in the movies. They think that the movie will do well because of the item number when the truth is they have absolutely no connection with the film and story.”
“My ears bleed when I listen to these item numbers”, she said. She said, “How is ‘main tandoori murgi hoon yaar…’ is a song? It has nothing to do with the film. This is not a time to joke, rather a time to think about the direction in which Hindi cinema is going. I don’t support item numbers and I don’t think there should be such interventions films.” The actress was referring to the popular song Fevicol se in Dabangg 2.
“People ask me there are so many shayars in your family, do you also do shayari? I say no, I only give inspiration,” she said at the event.
Shabana has been always been very vocal about her ideologies. Talking about the same, she said, “I’ve grown up with a left-leaning sensibility but I also respect that people have different political inclinations. So I will never say who should win an election, that is decided by the people, as should be in a democracy. What is important is that the elected government should be one that represents the people, irrespective of their gender or leaning. What is important is that they work towards improving the lives of the citizenry.”
“When I say that I have Left-leaning sensibilities, that doesn’t mean I support a certain political party. Supporting a political party and having certain ideologies are completely two different things. I support equality and justice.”
At the event, she also spoke about different religious ideologies as well. She said, “Triple talaaq is illegal. Along with Nikaah halala, it needs to be wiped out. It is against the Quran and it should be abolished. Twenty-four Islamic countries have removed triple talaaq, why hasn’t a secular country like ours removed it?”
“While it is true that different religions have different beliefs and ideas, the difference between right and wrong is also universal. This is why we need to start a discussion on a common civil code, which is fair to everyone, irrespective of gender, caste and creed. To save the country’s culture is to save the country. The quarrel is not between religion, but it is between thinking. The quarrel is not of Hindu-Muslim, not of Sikh-Christian, but of quarrels of extremism and openness.”
Speaking against the backdrop of hatred, intolerance and prejudice slowly seeping in the country, she said, “I have always been an optimist. I see the glass half-full. I believe India will always remain secular because this is a country where the biggest cricket star or actor can be Muslim and be celebrated by the common man on the street whether he’s Hindu or Muslim.”
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