Jaipur, Jan 23 : Bollywood actress Kajol feels that as public figures, they have a responsibility to speak well and speak right as the country is in the midst of a new kind of sensitivity.
Kajol was here today to launch the book of Ashwin Sanghi’s The Sialkot Saga at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Kajol said she is a huge fan of Ashwin and has read all his works.
While she declined comments on the intolerance debate, she spoke her ‘mann ki baat’ saying: “I have always spoken my mann ki baat and never bothered about it. But yes, there is a certain sensitivity in the country today. People have become a little more sensitive nowadays. Words are being measured, words are being chosen carefully whether I should I say this or not. Or whether my words would be taken in the right context. Some people have become over sensitive.”
She added : “As public personalities and giving credit to our intelligence, it is our duty to speak well and speak right.”
Her co-star Aamir Khan had recently faced a backlash after he said he was alarmed over the rising intolerance in the country and that his wife had even suggested leaving the country. Aamir, who was the brand ambassador for the Incredible India campaign, was also dropped, perhaps over the issue.
Her director of many films, Karan Johar is now facing a similar backlash on Twitter, after he spoke his mind on intolerance at the JLF on Thursday. He had said : “Do I need to fight the governance? We’re fighting the censor with every film. You can’t write anything, you can’t say anything. How are we democratic then?”
Earlier, superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s statement on a public platform saying that India is an intolerant country, was also not welcomed.
But saying that there is no intolerance in Bollywood at least, Kajol on a question about Sunny Leone being welcomed with open arms in Bollywood, she said : “There is no intolerance in Bollywood and everyone is welcome. There are no distinctions between caste, creed and religion here at least.”
A voracious reader, Kajol also completely disagreed that celebrity endorsements are required to sell a book. Kajol said :”I completely disagree. I have become fan of Ashwin, solely because of his writing. An author becomes best seller, plainly because of his writings and not on recommendations. However many recommendations it won’t work.
Ashwin, on his part, said: “I have got Kajol here not because she is a wonderful actress but because she loves reading books. She is one of the few persons who asks pointed questions about the narrative and that makes a huge difference. She is not somebody who will just endorse your product but actually loves your work.”
Kajol said she had demanded a library from her husband Ajay Devgun just like one in Hollywood’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Only when he promised to give it as a honeymoon present, did she agree to marry him. She added : “I actually have library in three of my rooms. And my mom had about 400 books in her room above her bed, which sort of inspired all of us to read books.”