It is rare to hear a star accept their mistakes. So when Vidya Balan admitted to paying a bribe for her new house at a public awards event recently, it was a surprise for everyone.
The actor even took a pledge of ‘bribe bandh’ on stage, assuring the audience that she would never opt for the easy way out again by greasing the palms of officials to get things done quickly.
Vidya explains, “While getting my new house in Khar registered in Mumbai, I paid a bribe, something I have done all my life. When you break a traffic signal, even though you don’t necessarily want to, sometimes you are in a hurry to get to some place and end up paying the cops to let you pass. Though I must say I’ve never flouted traffic rules intentionally.”
She adds,“Then, about two years ago, I changed my stance and decided I would rather pay the fine.”
Vidya admitted that the winners of the CNN-IBN Citizen Journalist Awards, where she was the chief guest, who were being felicitated for their fight against corruption, inspired her to take the anti-bribery pledge.
“We are the system. So if we want a change, then we have to take the first step and only then expect to see it in the society. If all of us pledge not to give bribes, it will help us eventually,” she says optimistically.
Ask why she chose to own up to the act on such a public platform, and The Dirty Picture (2011) star replies, “I didn’t need to come clean about such personal matters, but when I was asked on stage if I had paid a bribe, I didn’t think there was any harm in admitting to it. All of us have done the same at some point in our lives in varying degrees. As long as you decide to stop, it is good.”
Raking in accolades for her Silk role, Vidya is currently on a promotional spree for Kahaani that releases on March 9.