Sonam Kapoor
Upala KBR (DNA; May 12, 2017)

Recently, there have been many conversations on censorship in films, on social media, at places of work etc. Sonam Kapoor who is known to speak her mind, feels this isn’t healthy.

She explains her stance by giving an example of her recent visit to Amsterdam and how she found it to be probably one of the safest cities in the world “because everybody has a choice”. Says Sonam, “Most of the Dutch people don’t smoke up because the choice is theirs and they don’t have to hide and do it. Even prostitution is legal there. And they have the least number of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) cases over there. They have the lowest crime rate because everyone has a choice and they use it responsibly; with the right precautions and safety measures.”

There has been talk of banning alcohol in some states of India. She counters, “With bans in place, bootlegging will happen — leading to consumption of spurious alcohol, killing people.”

She offers a personal example: “My parents never stopped me from doing anything and because of that, I didn’t feel the need to do certain things. They would never say, ‘You can’t have a boyfriend’ or ‘You can’t do this or that…’ In fact, at one point, my mother asked me, ‘Why don’t you have a boyfriend?’ Because they never stopped me! So, I have had barely any linkups. And when they have happened, I have never spoken about it, but dealt with the situation in a certain way or had a certain dignity in doing things, because I was never told that’s it’s not okay to be that person.”

Why so secretive?
She says she finds it weird when people secretly do things because then it looks like you are doing something wrong. She explains, “A lot of my friends are in the closet and I feel like that they make certain decisions that might not be good for their mental, emotional and physical health, because they can’t be open about their lives. Hence, they can’t make informed decisions because they feel it’s illegal to be gay in our country and the right information is not available to them.”

She further elaborates, “Information should be given and people should be more liberal in their thought process otherwise young people will be confused and hurt themselves.”

More freedoms, please!
In fact, she says that with the kind of restrictions we are putting on ourselves, it’s not going to help as we are too vast a country — with many cultures, languages, religion, ways of thinking, education systems. She concludes, “There are so many different types of mindsets, it’s confusing. So everything should be allowed and open. There should be freedom of press, of expression — freedom of every kind — so that people can make informed decisions.”