Sushant Singh: Student protests have reignited faith in democracy

Mumbai, Dec 18 (IANS) Actor Sushant Singh says the nationwide anti-CAA students’ protests, which started at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University in the past weekend, have “reignited” his faith in democracy. He added that issues of importance should be reconsidered when the youth raise their voice against them.

“I had lost faith in the system even before the government of 2014, because no government has given the youth the basic amenities such as education and healthcare. I felt as a society we are dead and we don’t raise our voice. Rather, we try to survive as victims in the system. But so many students coming out on the road and protesting against the system for a larger good is certainly (a sign of) something positive. It reignites faith in democracy and shows that as a society we are not dead,” said the actor.

Sushant, who participated in an anti-CAA protest in Mumbai recently, has been dropped as anchor of the TV show “Savdhaan India”. He has criticised Bollywood stars who have not raised their voices to take a stand on the issue.

Does he think that stars have too much at stake to express honest opinions? “If they think that they have a lot at stake, if they think polarisation has gone to that level that if they express their opinion it might affect the release of their films in future, I just want to tell them that the lives of the future of our country — our youth — are at stake. We are creating an environment where there will be no room for opposing or criticising the government. If you do so, the power play will silent your voice. Is that what we want for our future?” Sushant responded.

Boxing champion Mary Kom, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, mentioned she supported the bill because nobody would have listened to her, as a majority supported the CAA in the house.

Reacting to this, Sushant said: “This is shocking. It does not matter whether only my opinion will change the mind of the lawmaker. However, if I am an influential person, and I do not support a policy, I should express my opinion. I have to stand by what is right irrespective of whether my voice is heard or not.”

Meanwhile, Sushant is gearing up for his upcoming web series “Rangbaaz Phirse” that will start streaming on ZEE5 from December 20.

“Rangbaaz Phirse”, directed by Sachin Pathak and written by Siddharth Mishra, also features Jimmy Shergill, Sharad Kelkar, Spruha Joshi, Zeeshan Ayyub and Harsh Chhaya.

The story of the show revolves around a young lad, who was a brilliant student and wanted to be an IPS officer, but ended up a gangster in Rajasthan.

Putting the story of the show in the context of the present situation and student politics, Sushant said: “It is saddening to see what is happening in the country right now regarding the Bill. The moment you are painting a student, who is opposing a policy, as a criminal, you are ruining his/her future. If the government is so confident about the bill and believes it is in the favour of the nation, it includes the entire community. There should be a dialogue instead of beating up students who are protesting the Bill.”