Actor Sai Pallavi clarified on Saturday (June 18) that her comments, which had created a furore on social media, on drawing a parallel between the Kashmiri Pandits’ genocide in the 1990s and mob lynching of a Muslim were “taken out of context”. However, in her video message that she shared on Instagram to clarify her point of view, she also added that she did not want to belittle any tragedy and that “violence in the name of religion is a sin”.
The 30-year-old actor, who works in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films, waded into a controversy when a part of her interview to a Telugu YouTube channel ahead of the release of her film Virata Parvam, went viral. A complaint has also been filed against her in a police station in Hyderabad.
In her video, Sai Pallavi said that she was asked in a recent interview if she was a supporter of the left or the right wing. “I clearly stated that I believe I’m neutral. We need to be good human beings first before we identify ourselves with our beliefs. The oppressed need to be protected at any cost,” she said.
“This is the first time I will be thinking twice before speaking my heart,” said Sai Pallavi in her 4-minute video. She chose to speak in English; the earlier interview had been in Telugu.
‘Would never belitte genocide’
She said that she also got the chance to meet the director of Kashmir Files and had told him that she was disturbed seeing the plight of the people at that time. “And being someone that I am, I would never belittle tragedy like the genocide and the generations of people who are still affected by it,” Pallavi added.
At the same time, Pallavi said she “could never come to terms with the mob lynching incident during COVID times” and was “shaken” by it for days. “I believe that violence in any form is wrong and violence in the name of any religion is a huge sin,” Pallavi said.
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What Sai Pallavi said
In the earlier interview to a Telugu channel, Pallavi, who had been asked if she had leanings towards the Left ideology (since she falls in love with a Naxal in her new film Virata Parvam) said that she had grown up in a neutral family where she was taught to be a good human being.
She said that she had been taught she should protect the ones who are being hurt. “The oppressed should be protected. Irrespective of their stature. I have heard about the left-wing and the right-wing. But, we can never surely tell who’s wrong and who’s right,” she said.
Further, the actor, went on to add that the Kashmir Files showed how Kashmiri Pandits were killed at the time. “If you are taking the issue as a religious conflict, recently violence was used on a Muslim driver, who was transporting cows, amid chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’. So, where’s the difference between these two incidents? You shouldn’t hurt anyone on religious lines,” she said, adding that we have to be good human beings.
Pallavi pointed out that justice won’t be there either on the side of the right or the left, if you are not a good human being. She said she is “very neutral” and added that she believes that “if you are stronger than me, and you are oppressing me, then you are in the wrong. A large number of people oppressing a small group of people is wrong. A battle has to be fought between two equals.”
All lives are equal, all lives are important
In her recent clarification, the actor, known for films like Fidaa, Premam, Shyam Singha Roy, Love Story said that she found it extremely disturbing that many people justified the mob lynching incident online.
Sticking to her guns, she added that she doesn’t think any of us have the right to take another person’s life. “Being a medical graduate, I believe that all lives are equal and all lives are important,” the actor added.
Moreover, she added that in the future no person in the country should be “scared of his or her identity”. “I hope a day doesn’t come when a child is born and he or she is scared of his or her identity. And I pray that we are not heading towards that, at least. Fourteen years of my life, my school life, I remember everyday going to school and chanting, ‘All Indians are my brothers and sisters…,” she said, adding that we as children would never differentiate each other based on culture or caste or religion.
“So anytime I speak, it comes from a very neutral ground,” she added.
Pallavi was disappointed however over the relentless online trolling she was subjected to after her interview. She said that she was very surprised that whatever she had spoken had been taken in a completely different way. The actor also thanked those who had stood by her in the last few days.
“I felt like they knew me for who I am. So thank you so much for making me feel like I wasn’t alone,” she said.