Janhvi Kapoor surprises internet with her views on Gandhi, Ambedkar, casteism: ‘Very impressed’. Watch | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Janhvi Kapoor surprises internet with her views on Gandhi, Ambedkar, casteism: ‘Very impressed’. Watch

By | Edited by Devansh Sharma
May 25, 2024 11:10 AM IST

In a new interview, Janhvi Kapoor went where very few mainstream actors of today go. She said she'd like to see a debate between Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar.

Janhvi Kapoor, like many of her contemporary Gen-Z mainstream Bollywood actors, isn't exactly known for her political awareness. However, in a new interview with The Lallantop, when asked about her interest in history, Janhvi opened up on casteism and the ideological debate between Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar. (Also Read – Janhvi Kapoor had panic attack after watching Sridevi’s tribute video on a reality show: ‘They didn't tell us…’)

Janhvi Kapoor recently surprised the internet with her views on Gandhi, Ambedkar, and casteism(PTI)
Janhvi Kapoor recently surprised the internet with her views on Gandhi, Ambedkar, and casteism(PTI)

What Janhvi said

When Janhvi said in the interview that she has a keen interest in history, the interviewer asked him which period of history she'd like to time-travel back to. Janhvi said she'd answer the question honestly, but requested him to not probe her on the same since her views may not sit well with the audience. Janhvi then said she'd like to see Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the nation, and BR Ambedkar, the Founding Father of the Indian Constitution, debate over their views on casteism.

The interviewer was pleasantly surprised and couldn't help but probe Janhvi further. She then said, “I think Ambedkar was still very clear and stern from the start what his stand was. But I think Gandhi's view kept evolving as he got more and more exposed to (casteism). Ye jo jativaad ka samasya hai humare samaj mein, ek third person se jaankari lena aur usey jeena, usmei bahut farak hai, bahut antar hai (this issue of casteism that we have in our society, to gather information from a third person and to actually live it, there's a huge difference there).”

When the interviewer further probed Janhvi if there was any conversation about caste in her school, she refused. “In fact, mere ghar mein kabhi caste ko le kar koi conversation nahi hui (there was no conversation around caste even at my home).”

What the internet said

The internet was pleasantly surprised to see a Gen-Z mainstream actor like Janhvi discuss a deeply political issue with such openness. An X user shared a clip of Janhvi's views and wrote, “Rather surprised to see this from a mainstream Bollywood actor. Janhvi Kapoor on Ambedkar, Gandhi & caste (applause emoji).” When another user pointed out that Swara Bhasker also often speaks on political issues, they clarified, “There is simply no comparison. Swara has been a strong political voice in the country for a long time now, more so than anyone else in the entire Bollywood.”

Several other people reacted to Janhvi's stance. One of them posted, “Very impressed!” Another commented, “Very rare to see such level of understanding and study (applause emoji).” “Yeah, it's surprising... That too from the new-gen Bollywood actress... And she knows what she is speaking about... Apan bohut prejudiced hain inke liye lekin (we're very prejudiced about them but) she is so clear in her mind,” read a third comment.

However, some internet users were left unimpressed. One of them commented, “Lol, except taking two famous names what intellectualism did I miss here?” Another wrote, “I tried hard to see what it is that she had said that was so exceptional. Anything she said could be said of any two prominent politicians before 1947. Had she said that Gandhi and Ambedkar didn’t have and couldn’t provide answers to complex social questions.” A third person argued, "I'm surprised that you’re surprised- don’t know what to make of it? What did she say other than ‘their thoughts kept evolving w/ time and Ambedkar lived poverty and Gandhi enacted poverty’ blah blah…most of us know this- where is the substance?”

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Janhvi made her Bollywood debut in 2018 with Shashank Khaitan's romantic drama Dhadak, a Hindi adaptation of Nagraj Manjule's 2016 Marathi film Sairat. Dhadak was panned by several sections for whitewashing the issue of caste that Sairat addressed so directly. Janhvi will be next seen in Mr & Mrs Mahi, Devara: Part 1, Ulajh, Sunny Sanskari Ki Tulsi Kumari, and Suriya's next.

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