EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW | Don’t Defame Country On Global Platform: Raveena’s Advice To Vibhishans On Intolerance

| Updated: 14 May, 2023 9:56 pm IST

Raveena Tandon, a force of versatility and talent, has fearlessly paved her way in the entertainment industry for over three decades. From mesmerizing audiences with scintillating performances in songs like ‘Tip Tip Barse Pani’ to embracing groundbreaking roles in films like Shool, Daman, and Aks, she continues to leave an indelible mark. With her recent portrayal as Investigative Officer Kasturi Dogra in Aranyak and that of Rimika Sen in KGF 2, the 48-year-old actress showcases her unmatched prowess. Alongside her remarkable career, she remains a proud nationalist, always prioritizing her country’s interests.

Join us on an enthralling journey as the Padma Shri awardee unveils untold tales of her professional and personal life in an exclusive conversation with Rohan Dua on Catch The Stars.

Excerpts from the interview 

Rohan Dua: India perceives you as a formidable nationalist and a passionate woman dedicated to serving the country with unwavering clarity of thought. I frequently come across your assertive tweets, reflecting your strong determination to safeguard the nation. Your reputation is built upon fearlessly confronting those who endanger our country’s security. I vividly recall your resolute stance during the 2015 intolerance debate, where you bravely addressed a fellow actor who contemplated leaving the country soon after the Modi government came to power. Your statement shed light on the underlying issues within Bollywood, an industry that you and other actors like Anupam Kher fearlessly confront. Your courage is commendable.

Raveena Tandon: During the entire intolerance debate, it was crystal clear to me that my country’s interests and integrity came first. Globally, India has encountered incidents of racism, which indeed is shameful. It is our responsibility to make our masses aware that such incidents do not define our nation and its principles.

I have always held a strong sense of patriotism, instilled in me by my father since childhood. Even today, whether I’m at the beach or elsewhere, when I hear the national anthem, I pause and ensure that everyone around me shows the due respect it deserves. Therefore, when the India is intolerant debate emerged I took a stand. There are issues and problems that we must be ashamed of and we should deal with. But do you know  that statistically, there is more racism in the UK or the US than in India. However, have we ever heard senators or UK Parliament members proclaiming that their country is intolerant? They acknowledge incidents of intolerance in certain sections or pockets and pledge to address them while standing together as a united country.

Our country has had its share of greatness, and it is unfair to blame the entire nation by generalizing and labeling India as intolerant. Undoubtedly, there are shameful incidents that must be condemned, but they should not define the global perspective of our country.

Engaging in arguments that further degrade our nation only adds to the complexes that already exist. They fail to recognize the way India is rising. Statistically speaking, I recently came across a global poll on recession, and India is the only country that has maintained zero recession so far. This accomplishment is highly commendable and not many countries can match our power.

Therefore, it is important to refrain from spreading the wrong message. Let us focus on rectifying issues internally, just as we do within our own households.

Rohan Dua: Looking back at the choices you made in life like adopting your daughters at a very young age or marrying Anil Thadani at the peak of your career. How do you look back at these choices? 

I believe that bringing my girls into my life at the age of 21 was the most fulfilling decision I have ever made. It was essential for me to experience the joy of motherhood right from the beginning because I feel like I was destined to be a mother. Throughout my life, I had a natural inclination to take care of things, whether it was stray puppies, kittens, or birds. I had been involved in charitable work for orphanages alongside my mother for a long time.

There were instances when I came across abandoned babies or baby girls left in distressing circumstances, and I would express my desire to adopt them. I would ask my mother, “Can we bring this child home?” So, when I turned 21 and knew that I could legally adopt, I embraced the opportunity. It remains one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Similarly, marrying Anil at a time when others might have hesitated to give up everything and get married was another choice that was not necessarily easy back then. However, I believe that there is a right time and a right person for everything in life. The right time and the right person aligned for me, and fortunately, I made the wise decision to embrace it.

Rohan Dua: Your two saree songs in the 90s showcased a blend of sultry charm and captivating expressions, which introduced your “kinky” side of your cheerful and endearing persona to young Indians. Tell us a little about your decision to do these songs like “Tip Tip Barsa Pani” that left a lasting impression.

Raveena Tandon: The songs were indeed sensual, but they never crossed the line into being overtly sexual. I have always believed in the fine distinction between in-your-face sexuality and subtle sensuality. One can exude a sexy aura through expressions alone, regardless of the attire, whether it’s a saree or any other covered-up outfit. It’s all in the eyes, and that’s what acting is all about.When it comes to those two songs, I was a bit conscious. In fact, one of the producers, Shabir, mentioned in an interview that initially I had declined to do the song “Tip Tip Barsa Pani.” I was very clear about certain boundaries—I wouldn’t remove my saree, engage in intimate scenes, or involve any explicit gestures. So there were many restrictions and negotiations in the process. Eventually, we struck a balance that resulted in the song “Tip Tip Barsa Pani,” which exuded sensuality more than anything else.

Rohan Dua: Among your two kids, who resembles you more? And what are your aspirations for them?

Rasha and Ranveer, our two children, possess distinct qualities that make it challenging to determine who takes after whom. They embody a combination of both their parents’ traits. Our foremost desire is for them to become successful individuals, measured by their character and values rather than mere material achievements. We hope they foster goodwill and forge strong connections with their colleagues, friends, and family. Both Rasha and Ranveer display clarity of thought, stability, and a clear sense of purpose. Currently, Rasha is preparing for her 12th board exams and is on the verge of making decisions about her future endeavors. Meanwhile, our son is still in the 9th grade, with a promising journey ahead.

Rohan Dua Will you ever be seen with your daughter on-screen? 

Raveena Tandon: Who knows! Never say never!

……to be continued in Part 2 

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