As intolerance debate is raging in the country, Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala today said it was not true that the entire country was "intolerant".
"It is not true saying that entire India is not tolerant... there are certain sections may be. I believe in our culture and tradition and doing right things. There is a beauty in it. I also believe in the freedom of expression," she told a press-meet here.
The Bollywood diva was replying to a question regarding the recent controversial statement of actor Shahrukh Khan on "growing intolerance" in the country.
"Every soul has the freedom to live their own life. I cannot force you to live according to my views. I believe in certain liberal world," Manisha, who was here for the shooting of Lenin Rajendran-directed Malayalam movie "Idavappathi", said.
The 'Dil Se' girl also said she believes in culture and tradition, but also in freedom of expression in the liberal world.
The actress, however, ducked questions on return of awards by film personalities and writers saying she was away from the country for some time.
The 45-year-old actress, who successfully battled cancer, said though cancer was not a death sentence, it still had a stigma attached to it. Even movies were giving wrong messages about the disease.
"Cancer is not a death sentence. There is life after that.
But, even movies are creating a wrong impression about it. We can actually give correct medical information about the disease through cinema," she said.
Manisha said cricketer Yuvraj Singh and actor Lisa Ray, who had braved cancer, were the inspirational figures during the tough times of her life.
The actress, who enacted the role of a chain smoker in some movies, said it is an "extremely harmful thing to do" in life.
"We have to do campaigns against smoking. I was living unconsciously till my disease was diagnosed. It was a wake-up call for me. Life is a gift and we should honour that," she said.
The "Khamoshi" actress said women now-a-days have to go through great struggle to keep themselves in a respectable position in the society.
"I am more towards giving equality and education to women.
I think, education and spirituality is the only answer for their problems," the actress added.
Manisha plays a significant role in "Idavappathi" which deals with the story of the mental conflicts of a Tibetan Buddhist who lives in India.