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‘We have become democratic in casting’

Updated on: 03 June,2022 07:12 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Uma Ramasubramanian |

Ayushmann, whose Anek has received mixed response, discusses how he didn’t face discrimination in the industry

‘We have become democratic in casting’


Anek may not have worked its charm at the box office, but the film has opened a dialogue about the discrimination against the north-east Indians. For that, Ayushmann Khurrana credits filmmaker Anubhav Sinha who, after the brave Article 15 (2019), approached him again for the social drama. “Anubhav and I have developed a deep bond after Article 15. We were discussing different subjects [for our next]. He was in touch with a lot of people from the north-east; there were a lot of triggers and personal experiences [that shaped Anek],” says the actor.

The film, focusing on the otherisation of a community, has come at an interesting time. Of late, the country has witnessed a raging debate on whether Hindi should be considered the national language. Asked about his stand on the subject, Khurrana states in no uncertain terms, “We cannot put one language on a pedestal. We need to respect each and every language. In our daily life, we speak an amalgamation of different languages — say, English, Hindi, Urdu and so on. Putting [Hindi] on a pedestal is unfair to a person who hasn’t spoken Hindi since childhood.”

A steady string of successes over the past few years has made Khurrana one of the most reliable actors of the current crop. But his road to the top couldn’t have been easy. As a rank outsider, did he face discrimination in the industry? “I was not discriminated against. I feel we have become more democratic in terms of casting. This whole subject of nepotism is done [with]; I believe it’s talent that thrives. That said, I know people who are not privileged. So, there could be a different kind of discrimination between the privileged and unprivileged, but it’s not [on the grounds] of talent.”

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