If there’s one thing we can all always be sure of, it is the fact that Richa Chadda cannot be censored.
In a world where actors like Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan have spoken about current affairs only to hastily retreat into the comfort of their palatial homes after being trolled, it is some actresses who are taking the fight for freedom of expression forward. To be fair Aamir Khan did try. But when he spoke about the rising intolerance in the country, the comment was met with a horde of rather intolerant remarks from neo-nationalists, and that put a rather abrupt end to his outspokenness. As for SRK, he revealed in an AIB podcast that his secret formula to not getting into trouble, is to not comment on any social or political issue at all. Because with great fan following, comes deafening silence.
Last month, we were witness to protests following the brutal rape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua. Protests not against the accused and the act itself, however, but protests held to demand their release by lawyers and members of the ruling party.
The backlash that followed was swift with several celebrities — most of whom were women — denouncing the horrendous crime. Of these, a few — again, women — were attacked and criticised to the point that a hashtag was started to boycott their upcoming film. Swara Bhaskar, Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor were all ripped apart online after they showed support for the Kathua victim. Richa Chadda, who has always been vocal about the alt-right and the trolls that seem to hire came under fire as well.
So basically, the leading women of Bollywood are doing what the leading men refuse to do: They’re participating in public debates, commenting on issues that matter, and holding their own in a world full of paid trolls, and vicious fanatics. The leading actors of Tinseltown on the other hand, resurface in the public eye only when they have a film to promote.
In a recent interview with Bollywood Hungama, Chadda pointed out just what about the manufactured outrage she found hypocritical:
“Why this selective outrage? Why are you picking up (sic) three women who say something, but you don’t pick up (sic) your pro-establishment male stars who’ve said the same thing. There have been numerous articles about targeting a bunch of women whose film is about to release, and you say boycott Swara, Kareena and Sonam.. boycott their film. But you’re quiet (about the men)… Akshay Kumar has said it, Ritesh Deshmukh has said it, Farhan Akhtar has said it. Who has not? Because rape is wrong. That’s not up for debate. There’s no Hindu Muslim or poor or rich or Congress or BJP in it. Dude, it’s rape. ”
Uh oh. Look out Richa, paid trolls incoming.