Ratna Pathak Shah says she feels hopeful seeing youth revolt in the country, where the students are raising their voice, sending a notice to the powers-that-be that they would not let some people "break" the nation.
At an event titled 'India, My Valentine' in Mumbai, Shah spoke at length about the ongoing unrest in various parts of the country, in reference to the protests against the National Register of Citizen (NRC) and the amended Citizenship Act.
Drawing parallels between the political landscape of the times she grew up in and the present, the veteran actress emphasised the importance of artistic activism in politics.
"I grew up in the '60s and the '70s. It was a fascinating era, and so is this. During that time, everyone was thinking about the progress of India. How to make the nation ours and what kind of nation it should be. Because my family has always been associated with performing arts, we used to have discussions on these topics. What kind of a play should be written for new India? How can we represent this new world? On what issues should we write plays?
"The chaos and the brainstorming of that time can be seen even today. Of course, things have changed. The situation is extremely serious. During those times, we were talking about nation-building. Now, it looks like some people want to break and change the nation. That’s troubling," Shah said.
Shah further heaped praise on the young and educated people around the country for taking matters in their own hands.
"What I saw and heard today, what I see around me, it definitely increases hope. Never before has India had so many young, educated people come together at one time, and that’s going to make a big difference. It’s making that difference and we are seeing it everywhere, all over the country. It’s not limited to Shaheen Bagh or Mumbai Bagh. It is spread across.
“Again, art is showing the way. This kind of chaos is producing such wonderful writing, music and performances,” the actor said, before reciting a poem penned by poet-lyricist Hussain Haidry, who is also the dialogue writer on Karan Johar's Takht.
On the work front, Shah will next be seen in Ranveer Singh-starrer Jayeshbhai Jordaar, in which she plays the role of his mother. The Gujarat-set humorous entertainer is being directed by debutant Divyaang Thakkar and stars Ranveer as the titular character.
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