Ayushmann Khurrana says true patriotism doesn’t mean blind love, but ‘improving your country’

Actor Ayushmann Khurrana, who is welcoming the new year with equality and pride, says true patriotism doesn’t mean blind love, but improving your country.
Ayushmann Khurrana reveals the one thing he loves and despises about India.
Ayushmann Khurrana reveals the one thing he loves and despises about India.
Updated on Jan 24, 2020 04:36 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByRadhika Bhirani

Right from his maiden Bollywood outing Vicky Donor (2012) to his last onscreen joyride Bala (2019) and the upcoming ‘edutainer’ on homosexuality, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, a beacon of hope for social change has been the mainstay in Ayushmann Khurrana’s movies.

Ahead of the country’s Republic Day, the actor, who takes pride in equality, says he’s a “socially aware citizen” and adds that his choice of cinema will always hinge upon socially relevant issues, which could initiate a discussion. Excerpts from the interview:

In this poignant photograph (above), you’re depicting gay pride and equality on one side and the Indian flag on another. Tell us about the idea.

It shows India in a progressive stance when it comes to homosexuality and the LGBTQ community. It has decriminalised Section 377 (of the Indian Penal Code) and we can’t be more proud.

Would you say your choice of films — from one on Article 15 of the Indian Constitution in Article 15 (2019) to Section 377 of the IPC (in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan) — are driven by your own desire to see a change in the country?

I’d always aspire to do subjects which are socially relevant, which would create a stir or usher some kind of discussion. Yes, I am a socially aware citizen. I’ve done street theatre where we touched upon many socially relevant issues, and the cinema I’m doing is an extension of my theatre days.


What’s the significance of Republic Day for you and how do you define patriotism?

The significance of Republic Day is being one with your nation, enjoying your country as a multi-cultural unit. And for me, patriotism is improving your country and not just blindly loving your country. It’s about changing our nation for the better. Patriotism comes with a responsibility, the love for your country. Like I’ve reiterated, this isn’t blind love.

What do you celebrate and despise the most about the Republic of India?

There is unity in diversity. This is our biggest strength and our biggest weakness, that we are diverse. We have to be together. What I celebrate is that India is a melting pot of culture. What I despise is the lack of cleanliness. We’re not clean as a country. Even those countries which have smaller economies are cleaner than us.

Also read: ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is about embracing LGBTQ community,’ says Ayushmann Khurrana

There may be constitutional validity for the LGBTQ community and people from different castes too, but ultimately do you believe that the onus of acceptability lies with the people of the nation?

Definitely. The kind of views and comments we’ve seen for the trailer on YouTube shows the progressive stance of our country and it is ready for a film based on homosexuality. It shows that our country has accepted the trailer of the film. It’s 2020, and high time that we have a mainstream and a commercial Hindi cinema on a gay love story.

Is our film industry inclusive enough?

As an industry, we’re the most inclusive. We don’t care what caste, colour, creed you belong to or what your sexuality is. We only care about your talent. If you’re good enough, you will get there and do well for yourself.

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