Ali Fazal on Mirzapur 2 boycott: Won't stop raising my voice as an artiste

Updated: 13 October, 2020 08:20 IST | Uma Ramasubramanian | Mumbai

Ali Fazal bats for freedom of speech even as a section of netizens call for a boycott of the upcoming Mirzapur 2 after his anti-CAA speech goes viral.

Ali Fazal in Mirzapur
Ali Fazal in Mirzapur

Several popular shows have buckled under the curse of the second season. As the much-awaited second edition of Mirzapur is set to drop online on October 23, bringing the weight of expectations with it, Ali Fazal — who plays Guddu in the crime thriller — is grateful that fans have patiently waited for over two years for the series. "I hadn't imagined this kind of love. I started feeling bad because the second season got significantly delayed because of the pandemic, but finally, we are arriving," exclaims the actor.

The Amazon Prime Video offering, which traces the rampant lawlessness in the Uttar Pradesh town, has often been critiqued for its excessive violence. Even as he acknowledges that the Gurmmeet Singh-directed venture has more than its fair share of guns and gore, Fazal notes that the story is merely being honest to its milieu. "A lot of people have spoken to me about how the show treats its women or how it depicts a part of society. But one needs to understand that the story is showing a particular region in our country where such things have happened at some point."

One to understand the responsibility that comes with his craft, the actor says that he is mindful of not promoting violence through his acts. "With every scene, I question whether we are adding the action or gore for no reason because that would be wrong. But here, the line is drawn at the script level, and the violence is depicted to stay true to the material. In such a scenario, I have to be honest to my craft. It broke my heart when I saw underage boys being exposed to the on-screen violence because of [a lack of] parental control. When that onus too falls on [artistes], I feel a little cheated. We want to be able to tell varied stories. If you pull us up on such counts, how will we step out of our comfort zone?"

Where fans have been waiting with bated breath to see Pankaj Tripathi's character Kaleen bhaiyya lock horns with Guddu as the story moves forward, a section of netizens called for a ban on the show after a 2019 video of Fazal participating in an anti-CAA march in the UK went viral. Though disappointed that his labour of love is being unfairly targeted, the actor asserts his freedom of speech can't be curbed. "I feel bad when people talk about boycotting the show because so many people are involved in making it. Sometimes, I have to weigh my options and take a step back for the larger good of others; I don't want them to bear the brunt of my actions. That said, I will not stop raising my voice. I am an artiste in a free world, I am supposed to raise questions. The environment of hate needs to be tackled with peace. We are the country that won its freedom through peace, after all."

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First Published: 13 October, 2020 07:14 IST

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