(Standing) Producer Ronnie Lahiri and scriptwriter Juhi Chaturvedi; (sitting) actor John Abraham and director Shoojit Sircar. Keshav Singh/HT
Besides being an actor-producer, John Abraham is a compassionate humanitarian. He has lent his star power to many a social cause and hasn’t shied away from voicing his thoughts on what he considers inappropriate. For instance, referring to the recent remarks by some politicians on rapes, he says, “Such remarks by our politicians are embarrassing ... they’ve embarrassed us enough already.”
Although the 41-year-old calls himself apolitical, he isn’t politically ignorant. “I am not politically inclined but I am politically aware. It’s a waste of time to discuss such statements, but politicians ought to be careful with their words, since their words make a huge difference as they are public figures,” says John, who was in Delhi on Monday as the face of the CSR campaign Fever Voice of Change.
The Madras Cafe actor further says that to make society safe for women, one must start with making changes at the grassroot level.
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“The laws should be made stricter. We, all of us in the nation, are hoping that the new government proactively works towards women’s safety issues. We are all optimistic about it. And even parents should teach their sons to respect women. The mindsets need to change. Jo hamari soch chali aa rahi hai, that has to change. How we think about women, how we treat them should also change for the better.”
Not one to believe in mere lip service, Abraham walks the talk. From helping charities raise funds to doing events for charities, he is also one of the few actors who chose to cast his vote in the general elections over attending an awards function abroad. “How can you attend award functions? You have to vote, no? I don’t like awards, but that’s a separate story,” says John.
The actor feels that films, too, need to change the way they depict women. “I agree that movies are a great influence, but in movies, we do a lot of things like picking up guns and firing, and not everything translates into real life. But as creative people, we must be responsible. When we make films, we call them ‘women centric’ or ‘male centric’. We must do away with gender-bias and these tags. As an actor-producer, I hope we create responsible films.”