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Nirmala Sitharaman Called 62-Year-Old Sunny Deol 'Young'. Not Far From Bollywood's Ageism Problem.

By: Raka Mukherjee


Last Updated: April 24, 2019, 12:28 IST

Nirmala Sitharaman Called 62-Year-Old Sunny Deol 'Young'. Not Far From Bollywood's Ageism Problem.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman welcomed "fireband, young great artist," Sunny Deol into the BJP. To this, Twitter asked, 'Young' artist?

Popular Bollywood actor, Sunny Deol, best known for his 'Dhai Kilo Ka Haath' joined BJP on Tuesday, adding more star-power to the party.

Deol, whose step-mother Hema Malini is also a BJP leader and is contesting from Mathura, joined the BJP in the presence of defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and railway minister Piyush Goyal. Speculation of the 'Gadar' star taking the political plunge had been doing the rounds since last week when Deol met BJP president Amit Shah at Pune airport.

"The way my father (film star Dharmendra) was attached with Atalji, today I have come to join Modiji… Whatever I can do for this family (BJP), I will do it... I won't talk, I will show you through my work," Deol said. Deol has been fielded from Gurdaspur in the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections.

Nirmala Sitharaman on his induction to the party said that "I am indeed very happy to receive firebrand popular, very committed to his art, young great artist from Bollywood Shri Sunny Deol."

"The moment we got to know that he is coming to the party, I can only relate to the film Border he had made, post which the impact on the Indian audience of such a theme was really proven... The feeling of nationalism and patriotism, when so beautifully evoked through a film, can really touch the core of Indian citizen," the Defence Minister further added.

However, Sitharaman's adjectives to describe Deol caught Twitter's attention. Her specific use of the words, "young great artist" is amusing Netizens, who pointed out, that Deol is 62, and in fact older than Sitharaman, who is 59.

Twitter questioning him being 'young,' also brings up a very glaring fact-- it isn't only politics which considers old male actors, 'young'. Bollywood does it too. In fact, the last movie Sunny Deol starred in, Bhaiaji Superhit had Preity Zinta as his love interest, who is 44 years old.

Don't think just 20 years is a wide-enough age-gap? In 2013 movie Singh Saab the Great, Sunny Deol was 56, and his co-star Urvashi Rautela was then 19. Do the math.

And it's not just Sunny Deol alone who has been cast in these movies with a huge-age gap.

In 1999, Amitabh Bachchan was cast opposite Manisha Koirala in the film Lal Badshah. Koirala was 29, Bachchan was 57. When Om Shanti Om released in 2007, Shah Rukh Khan was 41, Deepika Padukone 21. Sonam Kapoor, then 29, played the romantic interest of Salman Khan, then 49 in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. In an interview, Khan joked that it was strange to romance his friend's daughters.

So, Nirmala Sitharaman isn't the only one who thinks Sunny Deol is 'young.' In fact, if you ask Bollywood filmmakers, they'll probably give him another ten years at least.