‘Lynch-mob mentality terrifying’

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Swara Bhaskar at Slant 2016

Swara Bhaskar, one of Bollywood’s bright stars, has said that the atrocities of ” lynch-mobs” are on the rise and that it was terrifying as such news appeared in the media more often now. “For me, the signs of such activities do exist in the social media as they are on the roads everywhere”, she added.

Ms.Bhaskar was the Keynote speaker at Slant 2016, the national journalism fest, hosted by the National School of Journalism, recently.
Emphasising the role of the media and journalists at the present time, the Prem Ratan Dhan Payo star said, “we are reading about lynch-mobs almost twice a month, the most recent and shameful case coming from Bangalore”.
Speaking of the lynch-mob mentality, she said it was evident in “the kind of comments posted on Facebook or Twitter, and in the kind of news selected and the kind of response our state agencies have”.

Ms.Bhaskar, an active cultural activist and a founding-member of the artists’ collective, Swaang that creates and performs protest music and theatre, wondered if Rohit Vemmula really needed to end his life for an issue concerning the oppressed people of this country. Was it possible that ” his death could have been avoided if the issue was dealt with the seriousness it deserved”.

Ms. Bhaskar, in a short period, has acquired an impressive, award-winning and diverse body of work which includes commercial hits and content -driven independent projects. As an actor, her filmography includes two of last year’s Bollywood block buster films, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Tanu weds Manu Returns.

Giving an insight into her upcoming movie Nil Bate Sannata, she said that she found the role very challenging. “My next release is Nil Bate Sannata scheduled to be out on April 27. It is a brilliant and beautiful film. It is a story of a mother and I’m that mother of a fifteen-year-old. It was a challenging role”. Ms.Bhaskar received the Best Actress award at the Silk Road film festival in China for the film.
Gaza experience:
Ms.Bhaskar spoke about her experience in Gaza where she was in 2010 as a member of the Asian People’s Solidarity March for Palestine carrying medical aid for the war-hit people of Gaza. She said, “my experience in Gaza was absolutely mind blowing. Everything that comes into that city is smuggled through huge tunnels and yet there are three malls in the city selling the fanciest of things. There is a strange sense of joy amidst the prospect  of death at any time”. She added:”The resistance is not the problem in Gaza; the problem is that of governance”.

Ms.Swara Bhaskar gave the away the prizes to the winners of various competitions held as part of Slant 2016.

Namrata Srivastava

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