Actor-producer Nikhil Dwivedi, who came out in support of actor Rhea Chakraborty in September, explained his tweet that he would like to work with her ‘when all this is over’. She has been accused of abetting the suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and was arrested in a drugs case related to the investigation.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Nikhil said that his tweet was a ‘mark of protest’, as Rhea was declared guilty on social media even before the court pronounced its judgment. “I said that actually as a form of protest. I truly believe that you are innocent until proven guilty. The guilt of any crime can only be proved by institutions which have been formed by the Constitution – law enforcement agencies and really speaking, the court of law. You and I cannot decide anybody’s criminality. It is wrong. I saw judgments being pronounced on her.”
Nikhil felt it was ‘silly’ of people to object to Rhea giving interviews. “See, I don’t know Rhea. I have never even met her. But I feel that you and I cannot pronounce anyone guilty. It was a mark of protest because everyone was saying that she is guilty and no one should ever work with her. I mean, people were saying, ‘Why did someone take her interview?’ How silly can you get? Are you trying to say she cannot give interviews? Journalists have reached Osama bin Laden to take his interviews and I see nothing wrong with it. That is what journalists are meant to do. For God’s sake, decades ago, there was a cover story and interview of Dawood Ibrahim in a magazine. Is that wrong?,” he asked.
“Rhea has not even been pronounced guilty in the court of law. The problem is everybody else, other than the courts, has pronounced her guilty. And then, they are telling us what to do and what not, which is the problem that I have. Nobody can tell me what to do, I have the freedom to do whatever I want. We live in a democracy,” he added.
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Nikhil said that he had a similar issue with the #MeToo movement. “I’ll be very candid about it. I know it is politically incorrect. #MeToo could be a great movement but my problem was that everybody was pronouncing people guilty and asking us to throw them out of their jobs. If they have done anything wrong, they should be thrown out of their jobs. But how can we decide without an institution pronouncing that judgment? If eventually, you and I are going to decide, then why do we need courts? What are the courts doing in this country? They should just shut shop,” he said.
“I have a problem with not following the system and not respecting it. Of course, you can find flaws in it. But having said that, this is not the solution. You need to find judicial reforms, you and I cannot start pronouncing judgments. For me, it was a mark of protest and not an attempt to make some fancy statement. For all I know, tomorrow, the court may pronounce Rhea guilty. Then, I would not like to work with her. But until such time, I think what we are doing to any individual is wrong,” he added.
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