Versatile actor Paresh Rawal is not just vocal about his choice of films, but also his political view. With the advent of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the film industry is also going through a tax change and has affected the livelihoods of many workers, especially in regional cinema. But Rawal thinks that if the movie industry had put up a united front then they could have convinced the government to change the tax bracket. “I don’t know much about GST, but the film industry is affected by it. First of all, we are dealing with piracy, which is a major setback to us and then with the advent of these web-portals, even my driver can watch a movie on his mobile. We don’t have a unified voice. When I asked Siddharth Roy Kapoor (Producer) to take a united voice from Rajnikanth to Aamir (Khan) to Prabhas and even the Federation to go together and talk about the tax rate, no one turned up,” says Rawal.
The south film industry seems to have taken then hit, as in addition to 28% GST they are also required to pay 30% municipal tax. The “Guest Iin London” actor will also essay the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but has not locked on a script yet. Talking about Modi’s relationships Rawal says, “Camaraderie between PM Modi and Amit Shah is not as unique as you guys perceive. Modi has had many other meaningful relationships especially with his gurus in his formative years. Modi sahab hamesh akele rahe hai, vo kabhi bhi chamcho ke saat nahi baithe rahe hai. He doesn’t believe in loose talks and will always be a loner.”
When asked about controversial aspects of PM Modi’s life, Rawal said, “With this biopic I am not worried about people’s reaction, I am concentrating on the events that happened in his life and what was the reason behind certain decisions that he took. We will even touch upon the 2002 riots and break people’s incorrect notions.”
Rawal has never shied away from expressing his views on the political situation in India and recently even faced a lot of flak after he tweeted that writer Arundhati Roy should be tied to an army jeep, suggesting she be used in a manner similar to the Kashmiri man – an incident which had occured in April. “I firmly believe in whatever I said about Arundhati Roy. I am not afraid of repeating it as well. You cannot run down my country or my army. As simple as that. Let people say whatever they want,” Rawal dismissed any relation to the tweet being a hate speech.
“If we post something it is polarising, but her speech is not. If she had not said all that, then I would not have posted all this. From which angle do you think that what I have said is inciting violence? If you are a sympathiser of stone pelters and if I have tied you to the jeep then why would anyone throw a stone at you? Even the army will know how helpful Arundhati is to them, and even she will know what all the army goes through every day. It is a win-win situation,” says Rawal.
Albeit with the incidents of hate crimes rising in the country, the actor doesn’t believe in any religion or religious text to be the reason for violence. “It is pathetic when you start believing in society being a temple and people as god, then such hate crimes won’t happen. Since we are born we are thought about the teachings of Bible, Quran, and other holy books. Every book promulgates only good things, still, these books haven’t been able to influence them. Whether you are Hindu or Muslim, when you lynch someone you are killing a human being. We should bring out a strict law and judiciary should also implement it quickly,” says the Member of Parliament.