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Mallika: Not all politicians are dacoits, 80 per cent are

Last updated on: January 29, 2013 17:57 IST

Mallika: Not all politicians are dacoits, 80 per cent are

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Patcy N in Mumbai
Mallika Sherawat simply cannot get enough of her 'Obama connection.' 

In a press conference to launch her new film Dirty Politics, Mallika made sure to announce that she had skipped a dinner to be attended by US president Barrack Obama, just so that she could meet the media on that day. 

"I was invited for a dinner with the alpha alpha crowd on Capitol Hill in Washington, and I confirmed it too. I had heard that the President was also going to attend. But then I got a call from Mr Bokadia who said he has organised this press conference, so I had to make a decision," Mallika thrilled.

Mr Bokadia, incidentally, is the producer and director of her new film Dirty Politics, something she obviously needs to further her slumping movie career.

The film has been inspired by the chilling tale of Bhanwari Devi, a rape victim from Rajasthan. It also stars Om Puri, Jackie Shroff, Anupam Kher and Ashutosh Rana.
 
K C Bokadia, who has been making movies for decades and has worked with top stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, claims he had predicted that Mallika would go places after watching just 15 minutes of her breakout film, Murder, and has wanted to work with her since then.

Image: Mallika Sherwat in KLPD


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'My brother received threatening calls'

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Mallika claims Dirty Politics is the most important thing in her life "because of what is happening to women in our country." 

"In the beginning of my career I had said that women are treated like cattle in this country and I got a lot of flak for it. But I was proven right. With all these rape cases and nonsense happening to women and the way they are treated, I think every woman owes it... I owe it to myself to make this movie and make this scandal public and the truth public," she says.

"Dirty Politics is not the story of Bhanwari Devi's life but it's inspired by the scandal that shook the government of Rajasthan and the Parliament of India," Mallika said. 
 
"There are a lot of cases like that in our country but nobody talks about it and nobody has courage to make a film or act in it. So in that way, it is quite a landmark."
 
Mallika probably hasn't heard of the film Bhawandar, starring Nandita Das, that was based on Bhanwari Devi's life.
 
Mallika claims she has been receiving threats for signing the film. "There was a call my brother received from a stranger regarding Dirty Politics. The person said, 'Tell your sister to stay away from this topic.' But such threats keep coming."

Image: Mallika Sherwat at the WMB3D shoot


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'Everyone has been victim of politics in Bollywood, not only me'

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Asked what is dirty about politics, she said, "Politics is dirty, the minute you say politics, it will be dirty."
 
Has she been a victim of politics in Bollywood? "Yes, everyone has been, not only me," she replied, but would not cite a specific example. "I can say lots of things, but may be in private."
 
And has she played politics with anyone? 

"Every day I have to play politics, every day. If you have to survive in India you have to play politics with everyone." 

Good politics or dirty politics? 

"Both, but the dirtier the better," she shoots back.
 
Asked if she agreed with the line in Paan Singh Tomar that goes 'Beehad mein baaghi hote hain, dacait parliament mein milte hain,' Mallika said, "I agree with the dialogue. Not all politicians are dacoits, but 80 per cent of them are."

Image: Mallika Sherwat in KLPD


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'I look up to Vidya Balan'

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Why has Mallika kept such a low profile recently? "Are you all missing me? Nice to be missed," she grins, then adds more seriously, "I choose very few movies as now I am working in the West so I really have to be very careful about the projects I sign."
 
Now that she is acting in more realistic films, is she in competition with Vidya Balan? 

"I am not giving any competition to Vidya; no one gives her any competition. She is a very fine actress. I want to learn from her. I love Vidya and look up to her and she is an inspiration for me."
 
She seems to be equally in awe of actresses like Shabana Azmi and the late Smita Patil. 

"The names you are dropping are very big names in this industry. I don't even have the guts to take the name of these actresses. Smita Patil, Shabhana Azmi, they are brilliant, great actresses. I am just starting to learn. I took this project because I like my role. From the beginning I've liked female-oriented roles. In Bollywood, there are very few female oriented roles like I did in Murder and Khwasish. After a long gap, this is my next female-oriented film."

Image: Mallika Sherwat at the WMB3D shoot


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'I love my sexy image'

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Mallika is happy to keep the sexy image she has acquired.
 
"I love my image, but every artist wants to get respect from their peers and colleagues and for this they must do nice acting roles too. I am no different," signed off the refreshingly forthright actress. 
 
Dirty Politics will release later this year.

Image: Mallika Sherwat arrives at the Miral premiere during the 2010 Doha Tribeca Film Festival held at the Katara Opera House
Photographs: Sean Gallup/Getty Image
Tags: Mallika

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