Actor Siddharth Shut Down Those Who Called Him ’South Ka Swara Bhasker’ And There’s An Important Lesson On Feminist Allyship Here
Most men will shy away from associating with feminists or the word ‘feminist’. In fact, if you were to go on Twitter or Instagram comments, you’ll see them use the word like it is an abomination, an insult. On the other hand, some men will proudly label themselves as feminist, but… they will follow up that declaration with a “but” caveat that will render all that they said before it meaningless. And then there are the genuine ones, who not only consciously practice it (because yes, it takes consciously changing a lot of conditioning), but also call out problematic behaviour in others. Like actor Siddharth did recently, when some people started calling him ‘South ka Swara Bhasker’!
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We’ve all (I meant, the Hindi-movie watching crowd) have had a crush on Siddharth since we saw him in Rang De Basanti. Now the actor actually keeps the true spirit of the film alive by actively voicing social and political opinions on his social media. In a time where being apolitical is not affordable yet most Indian celebrities choose to be, actors like Siddharth are a rarity.
Recently, Siddharth took to Twitter to reveal that some Hindi-speaking folks were referring to him as ‘South Ka Swara Bhasker’. Why? Probably because Swara Bhasker too is an actor who is pretty vocal about her political opinion on Twitter. And they both manage to ruffle the feathers of those with a different political ideology.
Now the people who called him that might’ve meant it as an insult, we probably can only guess the context this was said in, since Siddharth hasn’t specified it. But the feminist that he is, he dismissed any possibility of it being one by clarifying that he would absolutely love to be Swara Bhasker because, really, wouldn’t that be awesome?
Hindi speaking junta calling me south Ka @ReallySwara .
Just to clarify…I would happily be Swara from anywhere or anytime. She's awesome and a cutie. ❤️
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) May 6, 2021
His tweet was all sorts of adorable and no wonder Swara Bhasker tweeted back at him, ‘India Ka Siddarth’, with an equally generous compliment.
You are India ka Siddharth and we are soooooo thankful for you! ♥️
Also, hey Hottie! 🤓🤓😍😍 https://t.co/u03BsphkF6
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) May 6, 2021
Their fans love their exchange, of course!
But now that we’ve gushed over this Twitter banter, it is time for an important lesson for any man, woman or other who claims to be a feminist or wants to be one in the truest sense. This, right here, is the mutual respect that feminism is all about. It isn’t just enough to be a feminist or a feminist ally; you’ve got to stand up and call out the misogynistic behaviour by others and make it clear that it is not acceptable. Feminism is also about equality, so it isn’t just a one-way street. If the roles were reversed, the same must be done.
And finally, it’s also about basic respect. So we aren’t putting him on a pedestal for this, but we do appreciate that he chose to address this, and address it on a public platform. Because it is the same platform where Swara Bhasker has been trending on and off because trolls can’t get enough of shaming her for her opinion. His gesture, then, becomes even more meaningful.
Also Read: Remembering Irrfan Khan: 7 Movies Where His Character Had A Beautiful, Supportive Relationship With Women
Siddharth isn’t the first male celeb to do that, and I am sure he won’t be the last. But what I personally love about the guy is that he is consistent in practising what he preaches. He has never shied away from calling himself a feminist, and I know that’s important because so many men avoid using that word. They’ll say things like ‘I respect women’ but not ‘I’m a feminist’ because “Yeh bohot liberal ho gaya bhai mere liye!”
In an old interview from 2017, while promoting his horror film Aval, the actor reiterated that he is a feminist and does not subscribe to sexist stereotypes, whether off or on screen.
“I’m very proud that I have super strong female characters in my film. I’m not a big fan of women being either objectified or shown to easily to faint in a horror film. As somebody who is quite feminist in my views, the film could not be something that doesn’t represent that.”
We’re glad that some men are really doing their bit to be true allies to women!