MUMBAI: "A woman should always be alluring, we are made to be alluring, we come from the land of Kamasutra." Actor Priyanka Chopra, who starred on Day 2 of Agenda AajTak, provided perhaps her most candid thoughts yet in response to hard questions about crimes against women, the role of Bollywood in a larger societal message about women, and what the government needs to do.
"Crimes against women will come down when laws are implemented properly. Laws exist, but there is fearlessness. Unless that fear goes, crimes against women won't go down," Priyanka said in response to a question from the BJP's Anurag Thakur on how the film industry could help in the fight against rape in the backdrop of the December 16 Delhi gangrape. "The film industry is for entertainment. Don't think society should put the responsibility of the message solely on the film industry. That's the government's job," she said.
Explaining that she still needed to take the big 'masala' films in order to be commercially viable for the freedom to do 'meaningful' cinema with strong female characters, Priyanka told the audience about her upcoming sport biopic on Indian Olympian boxer and icon Mary Kom.
"Training is on, you'll see my muscles soon. Mary Kom's character was difficult. But I believe it needs to be the story of every girl, of how barriers are broken. This is the story of every girl who's had to break barriers in her life," said Priyanka.
The actor, who has recently signed on as brand ambassador for GUESS, the "first who isn't blonde and blue-eyed", was sporting enough to stand up on stage and show the audience a bit of what training has done for her -- some nifty footwork and the boxing stance: "I'm a good boxer now! I've picked up a few tricks! I've never been sporty in my life, ironically. Have had to turn my life upside down learning a new sport."
About her relationships and private life, Priyanka said, "I'm private, but I'm not politically correct. I believe that if I give my 90% to the public, the remaining is for my private life and family. I share a lot on social networks. I don't believe being a public figure means laying bare all details about my life. A part of my life needs to be mine alone. I used to hide the papers when my father was sick, because of the malicious things people wrote about me. My father was my best friend. I could talk to him about anything."
To the inevitable question: Modi or Rahul, Priyanka played safe. "I'm very politically correct. I refuse to comment on anything political."
"We are taught that India is a secular country. We don't need to all think like one person. We don't live in a dictatorship. We live in a democracy, and we should be proud of it," she said.