Randeep Hooda: People come to social media to get offended and spout hate

Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda, who uses the hashtag #HeroesWithoutMakeup to highlight various social causes, says that he stays away from online arguments, because those are often a waste of time.

bollywood Updated: Sep 22, 2017 17:41 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Randeep Hooda,Sarbjit,Bollywood
If everyone used social media in the right way, then Indian society, including Bollywood, would benefit, says Randeep Hooda.(Photo: Yogen Shah)

Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda calls a spade a spade — and he has consistently done so. No surprise that such a person is very active on social media. However, while other Bollywood names use social media to express their views on matters related to the film industry — and get into spats, occasionally — Randeep has been using the hashtag #HeroesWithoutMakeup to focus on socially relevant things.

“I think social media are a good informative platform, but [they are] also a platform where people come to get offended and come to spout hate. I’ve kind of moved away from those things, and do things that are real and can make a difference. To me, that’s more important than having these ideological arguments, which really amount to nothing,” says Randeep, adding that he isn’t interested in “name calling and facing flak on social media — I think it is utter waste of time, mostly.”

Getting trolled on social media is part of parcel of being famous, and Randeep has had his own share. In February this year, the actor was trolled — and he himself was called a troll — when he supported cricketer Virender Sehwag’s sarcastic response to Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur’s claim: “Pakistan did not kill my father. War did!” Kaur‘s father had died on the front in Kargil in 1999. Sehwag’s response was: “I didn’t score two triple centuries, my bat did!”

Randeep feels that being a public figure, one has to learn to use the power of social media to one’s advantage. “I’ve been subjected to [trolling] and people have had some really baseless opinion that keeps changing from one thing to the other. But I want to ask: what are social media? [What is said] is merely an expression of opinion and what they say is not pathar ki lakeer (the last word). [Opinions] can change and often do change,” says the actor.

In heated situations, Randeep prefers to keep his cool, as he did during the Gurmehar Kaur episode. “Getting emotional and going out there and lashing out is of no point,” he says, adding, “If you want to do it, do it; I’ve done it in the past and if need be, I’ll do it in future, too. But for now, social media for me is for a better cause and for making a contribution to the country, rather than using it for my personal expression of opinion.”

Randeep, who has been in hard-hitting films such as Highway (2014) and Sarbjit (2016), has always been vocal about social issues, but is reticent in debates pertaining to Bollywood. Asked if it’s a conscious choice, he says, “I feel that positions within the industry keep changing according to convenience. So, I like to talk about hard facts about the nation.”

He adds, “If everybody took out two hours a week and did something that’s not just about your own industry or making money, and contributed to the country, we’d live in a better place — and that would be reflected everywhere, including Bollywood.”

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First Published: Sep 22, 2017 17:41 IST