Hours after the Delhi High Court and the Bombay High Court cleared the release of upcoming Bollywood film 'PM Narendra Modi', renowned actor Vivek Oberoi, who plays the character of PM Modi, appeared on a livewire edition of Poochta Hai Bharat - Arnab Ke Saath on Republic Bharat on Monday.
In an exclusive tell-all with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi spoke on an array of topic relatad to his upcoming film 'PM Narendra Modi', based on the life story of Prime Minister Modi.
On being questioned on the allegations levied by the Opposition on the timing of the film ahead of the Lok Sabha polls 2019, Vivek Oberoi stated that commercial interests over the production of a film have to be taken into consideration.
"We only made the film. Then commercial considerations have to be taken into account over which is the best time to release the film," he said.
On being questioned on why the film was made on PM Narendra Modi and not on any other political leader like Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the 'Saathiya' actor stated that PM Modi's story is an inspirational story that the entire world should know about.
"Narendra Modi is such an inspiration that the entire nation and the world want to see. There's a story to tell. When we were making the film, we thought the story stood out. This is the story of the entire nation. The story of a man who is not the son of a King, has no political backing, neither has huge wealth, is not a super-hit cricketer, but how a kid who used to sell became the Prime Minister of India. It's an exceptional story. We must tell the story to the world. And we need to tell considering the commercial interest as well."
Further, when he was questioned on the accusations of the Congress party leaders including Kapil Sibal that he is 'BJP stooge', Vivek Oberoi gave a befitting reply to the Rahul Gandhi-led party:
"I am not with BJP. I am with India. I believe in this nation. Retaliating to Kapil Sibal's allegation, he said if you can win an election by making a film, then quit the campaigning and make a film. Narendra Modi is the hero of the entire nation. If you are too scared of the lathi of the chowkidar, then handle it yourself. Why are you behind us? Why are behind filmmakers like us?"
When he was asked why other actors from the Bollywood film fraternity did not stand with him during the controversy of the film, Vivek Oberoi called out the actor for not standing up for Freedom of Expression, saying that they can click selfies with the Prime Minister, but not put out even a single tweet supporting the film.
"Nobody within the film community was with me to fight for freedom of expression. All of them want to get clicked with the Prime Minister. But no one wants to celebrate the victory that we got today. Nobody stood with us on Freedom of Expression. They could have atleast put out one tweet. They go to click selfies but they refuse to put out a single tweet to fight for freedom of expression and the film," Vivek Oberoi added.
Speaking on the claims made by lyricist Javed Akhtar over the lyrics of a song in the film, he said, the film intend to pay due respect to the poet for his legendary work.
"Javed Akhtar is a legendary poet, we thought we are paying due to respect to a legend. Even if he abuses us, we will welcome it."
Vivek Oberoi further spoke on how he wanted the nation to stand united with the medium of the film, referencing on the nation's unity on IAF's airstrike on Pakistan's Balakot in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack.
"We wanted to capture the spirit of PM Modi. The youth should be united. When Balakot happened, India was united across all the direction. I want exactly that response for this film. We must be united. I did not try to mimic anything in the film."
Lastly, on the question of him joining politics post the release of the film or the elections 2019, Vivek Oberoi clarified that he is an actor and is happy to play a politician on the screen.
"Will you join BJP after this election. Parties offered me to join in 2014, and got invitations even in 2019. I am an actor and I am happy to be a politician on the screen."