In an otherwise politically correct Bollywood, bold and beautiful Raveena Tandon isn’t afraid of getting trolled on Twitter when she speaks her heart and mind in public domain. One of the most outspoken actresses in India, she has never been the one to soft-pedal her opinion on politics, media or other social issues. In a revelatory mood, the National Award winner (Daman: A victim of marital violence in 2001), Raveena Tandon speaks exclusively with Nation Next about her strong views on fashion policing, Salman Khan’s media trial and more. Excerpts:
Usually actresses don’t prefer playing mature roles even if they hit their 40s but you seem to have broken the notion. In your mid-thirties, you played Amitabh Bachchans love interest and Charmy Kaurs mother in Buddha Hoga Tera Baap. Were you not insecure of getting stereotyped
No. In fact, even in my twenties, I had played Raima Sens mother in Daman: A victim of marital violence.
A lot was being said about your strained relations with Anurag Kashyap after Bombay Velvet. Apparently, you had a few scenes in the film, which were deleted by the editor of the film Thelma Schoonmaker. Why?
Nothing happened actually. Anurag is a friend, who came requesting me to do Bombay Velvet. I did that film free of cost for him. We did some beautiful work and my relations with Anurag were not strained because I think despite Anurag being the director, the film went out of his hands and someone else was editing it. I was just doing a guest appearance, which was kind of hyped. When media at that time asked me about my role in Bombay Velvet, I told them that it might be there or it might not be there. The minute I said this, the entire episode went into a different zone altogether. It was not my film. So, whats the big deal?
What kind of rapport do you share with Anurag now?
I haven’t seen him in the longest time. He seems to have kind of disappeared after Bombay Velvet but he has always been a friend and will always be my friend.
You are thick friends with Salman Khan. People close to him claim that hes changed a lot after the judgment in his hit and run? case?
I think Salman has definitely become more sensible but he has certainly not lost his sense of humor. Hes as much fun as he used to be earlier.
You said media crucified Salman during his court case. How do you think media has been unfair to Salman?
The day when the judgment in Salman’s case was supposed to come out, most of us were scared that the judgment could go against Salman. We all respect the judiciary. But is it a crime to not to desert a longstanding friend in his difficult times Whoever cared for him, thinking that we might not be with him for a while, went to meet him. And then the media was crucifying him and making fun of the fact that people were going to meet him. If a close friend or colleague of yours gets into a mess, won’t you be by his side? News channels were panning us for meeting Salman Khan and not meeting the victim that time. If we had met the victim’s family, media would have questioned our going there by saying that we were seeking sympathy for Salman. ?Why does Raveena Tandon have to go to meet the victim?? would have been the headline! It was a catch-22 for us! Our heart goes out to the person who lost his life, but why to put words in our mouth? The law did take its own course. Why did they put Salman through this media trial?
You are associated with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). But unlike a typical animal lover, you are a non-vegetarian. How do you explain that?
I believe that animals were born on this planet for a certain ecological reason. To keep the planet going, we need to respect all the living beings. I’m bothered about the way we humans are pushing animals out of their habitats by cutting down jungles. Basically, I work for animal issues and cruelty against animals. I’m kind of okay with the beef ban because I’m not fully non-vegetarian. I eat only eggs. I don’t eat meat, pork, crabs, etc. Over the years, I’ve gradually given up on it. But this argument of non-vegetarians not being animal lovers is a bit vague. The Bhagavad Gita also says that the food chain has evolved naturally for survival. For survival, man has to ultimately eat plants. When farms are ploughed, hundreds of earthworms and other creatures, who live below the soil, die. So, by that logic, even vegetarians would have to give up eating grains and vegetables. There are certain levels of consciousness for every living being and some of them are the part of the natural food chain cycle. I don’t wear leather as even The Bhagavad Gita says, Don’t kill for luxury.
You were also associated with traffic awareness about compulsorily wearing helmet in Mumbai. What would you like to say to those (quite a few in Nagpur), who don’t believe in wearing helmets for their safety?
What can you tell people who don’t wear helmets and are so stupid They are not kids. They will realise the importance of traffic awareness on their own but it would be a hard lesson to learn. People should wear a helmet because so many deaths are caused due to just not wearing helmets. Fortunately, the cops are doing their best by fining people for flouting the rules. People should realise that they are being fined for their own safety.
You were the President of Childrens Film Society of India. Whats your take on the violence and sex being doled out to kids via films and cartoons
Unfortunately, it’s not only films. Today, whether it is internet, digital media or even the smartphones, this kind of exposure is everywhere. Where you draw the line is important. Definitely, we still have adult films. We luckily have censorship and categorisation in films. I remember when my child was young, I came across a Chinese cartoon series (dubbed in Hindi), which had abusive words like saala, kutta, etc., which actually left me shocked.
The ?fashion police? have targeted you more than once for repeating your outfits
My question to all these so-called fashion critics, who don’t like us repeating our outfits, is that how many clothes do they have in their wardrobes Do they spend all their money for a single usage of an outfit? Is that what they are trying to teach peopleAs a result, college-going youngsters do not want to repeat their clothes in parties. This mounts pressure on their parents as these kinds of fashion entities are teaching the youth to not to repeat their outfits. I repeat my clothes and I don’t care about critics because clothes are so expensive. Nowadays, if you buy any good designer outfit, you are not paying anything less than one and a half to two lacs. Just for the sake of pleasing the ?fashion police, we can’t waste our hard-earned money by throwing away our outfits. What kind of an example are they (fashion police) trying to set?
You are one of the first actresses to do an item number in 90s (Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast in Mohra), which was quite a rage then. It landed you in soup when a lot of people felt women were objectified in the song. But today you have item songs that thrive on vulgarity?
At that time, Tu cheez badi hai mast mast was not really a so-called item song. Item songs have emerged now where only for that particular song or act, an actress does a guest appearance. Tu cheez badi hai mast mast was like a regular song, which evolved with the film. Music had a great role to play in films then. In fact, films would even thrive on music. That was the time when any super hit song from a film would become an item song. My song that I consider to be an item song is Sheher ki ladki, in Rakshak (1996), where I was not acting in the film and the song was not even relevant to the film. It was shot only to boost up the films music. Nowadays, item songs have different connotations altogether. They have become vulgar. You are considered regressive if you criticise today’s item songs and vulgarity. For instance, we have banned child porn, which is banned all over. Even developed countries have banned child pornography because it is a crime. But when we banned it in India, some stupid person gave a statement by saying that the government had put a blanket ban on pornography. And, all hell broke loose! Women liberation groups got active. I can’t understand their psychology. What do they really mean by being liberated Whenever we want to censor such kind of things, the ?liberation? theory is used in protest.
Rushikesh Lohit reigns as numero uno in Rapid Championship; Shaunak Badole tops Nagpur Blitz Championship
Rushikesh Lohit won the Nagpur District Rapid Championship while Shaunak Badole won the Nagpur District Blitz Chess Championship held at Vivekanand Hall, Shraddha House, Kingsway, Near Kasturchand Park in Nagpur.
The championship was organised by Chess Association Nagpur in association with Kalpana Prakash Welfare Foundation and G.H.Raisoni Sports and Cultural Foundation. Muktanand Pendsey finished second in the both Rapid and Blitz Championship. Rushikesh Lohit and Muktanand Pendsey will represent Nagpur in the Rapid Championship and Shaunak and Muktanand will represent Nagpur District in the Maharashtra State Blitz Championship.
Mangesh Kashikar, Secretary, Nagpur District Badminton Association and Vice President of Maharashtra Badminton Association was the Chief Guest who distributed the prizes. Bhushan Shriwas, Secretary, CAN and Kalpana Prakash Welfare Foundation, SS.Soman, Working President, CAN and Amrish Joshi, Chief Arbiter were present on the occasion.
The Top two finishers of Rapid and Blitz Championship were awarded Trophies whereas the players finishing from 3rd to 10th place were awarded Medals in both the championship. In addition to the main prizes, age group prizes were also distributed to top two finishers in each group.
The championship was conducted by Chief Arbiter Amrish Joshi assisted by SNA Swati Kumbhalkar, SNA Amit Tembhurne, Shyam Agrawal, Prayas Amabde and Prathamesh Machave.
Wine connoisseurs come together at Wine and Food Festival 2022 in Nagpur
Wine connoisseurs came together at Wine and Food Festival 2022 in Nagpur, which took place on December 3 and 4. This was the ninth edition. It was hosted by Nagpur Wine Club, and was held at Bhagwati Lawn. The festival was open to all, where people enjoyed wine tasting and lip-smacking food by The Breakfast Story, Nagpur. Nation Next brings you some exclusive photos from the event.
‘Maharashtra government responsive towards issues of traders,’ assures Eknath Shinde
At the outset Dr Dipen Agrawal, President of Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade (CAMIT) welcomed Chief Minister, Eknath Shinde with a floral bouquet in prominent presence of Krupal Tumane MP, Ramtek and submitted memorandums highlighting harassment of traders by Local Body Tax department across the state under the garb of LBT Assessment. He also appraised about the issue of Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) and he further brought to the notice of CM about the exorbitant hike in rent by Corporations & their coercive action on traders.
Dr Agrawal on behalf of traders of Maharashtra expressed his gratitude towards Eknath Shinde about Local Body Tax being abolished (LBT with effect from August 2015. Though LBT was abolished in 2015 but the ghost of LBT is haunting traders now and then, department in routine are passing ex-party (best judgement) orders raising inflated and fictitious tax demands and using them to justify continuance of LBT Department. Records from LBT Appellate Authority will evidence the correctness of this statement. He also informed that LBT Department in various Corporation indulged in issuing back dated assessment orders for previous financial years. He appealed to CM that the issue requires his urgent attention, intervention and directions for closure of LBT Department in all Municipal Corporations with immediate effect to ensure ease of doing business in the state and save traders from unnecessary harassment.
Eknath Shinde acknowledged that he is aware of the issue. He assured to discuss the issue in cabinet and ensure that the issue is addressed on priority basis.
Dr Dipen Agrawal informed CM, that since last few years Municipal Corporations across the state stopped renewing lease/license of property leased/licensed by them. In 2019 the state government came up with Maharashtra Municipal Corporations (Renewal of Lease or Transfer of Immovable Property) Rules, 2019. These Rules were strongly opposed by trade associations. However, after its implementation the litigation between the lessee/tenants and Corporations went to court added Dr Agrawal.
After great persuasion by the then LOP, you as minister for UDD agreed to the demand to put the notification dated 13/09/2019 in abeyance and review the exorbitant annual rent at 8% property value and fix the annual rent acceptable to all stakeholders.
After the issue was raised on the floor of the house, the State government stayed the operation of notification dated 13/09/2019 and constituted a committee of government officers to review and fix fresh rent. When we approached few members of the committee to submit our suggestions’ we learnt that the committee is of opinion that the notification in question does not apply to the Licensee holder.
Hence, in the background of above facts and circumstances Agrawal requested CM, to intervene and have the pending notification issued and fix the rent at 0.5% of Ready Reckoner value for residential & 1% for commercial lease holder Galedharaks . He further requested to notify similar rules and frame a single policy for the Licensee Galedharaks across the state and in cases where shop/otta is licensed by Corporation the annual rent be fixed at the rate of 2% of value as per ready reckoner and as the lease/license fee will be calculated on ready reckoner the clause of periodic increase dose not survive also the lease / license should be transferable and transfer fee to be charged equal to one month rent/fee for transfer within blood relation and equal to three months’ rent/fee for transfer outside blood relation and the agreed new lease rent/license fee to be made applicable prospectively and not retrospectively.
Eknath Shinde said that the issue is under active consideration and assured to look into the matter and discuss with Chief Minister, Eknath Shinde to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.
Dr. Dipen Agrawal further informed Eknath Shinde that the first notification declared 5 Km area touching outer limits of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) as Nagpur Metro Region issued in 1995 which was thereafter increased time to time to present limit of 25 Km from boundary of NMC. In 2010 Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) was entrusted with responsibility of Special Planning Authority for Nagpur Metro Region the limits. In 2012 NIT passed resolution for preparing development plan for Metro Region and published Draft Development Plan (2012-2032) calling objection and suggestions, in the year 2015. In 2017 Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) was established. In 2018 Final Development Plan (2012-2032) for Nagpur Metro Region was sanctioned and notified. NMRDA action is based on following three main reasons:-
1) Side margins are not as per 2012-2032 DCR; Dr. Agrawal highlighted that majority of units i.e., 59% were established before the 2012-NIT resolution and 85% were established before the first publication of 2015-Draft Development Plan (2012-2032), and pointed out that it is unjust on part of NMRDA to expect these units to maintain the margins prescribed in DCR (2012-32).
2) Building plan/ Non-agriculture use is not sanctioned by competent authority; Dr. Agrawal pointed out that under MRTP Act the power to change use of land is can be delegated to Thasildar and powers to authorise development to Gram Panchayat concerned. Invoking these powers Thasildar was approving and sanctioning NA Permissions and Gram Panchayat was sanctioning Building Plans. The units in good faith have taken these permissions from them and further submitted to other Government agencies.
3) Land earmarked for purpose other than industrial/commercial; MRTP Act provides for survey and preparing ‘existing-land-use’ map by Planning Authority after its declaration of intention of preparing a Development Plan. It is surprising to note that the area of many units established prior to declaration of intention of preparing Development Plan is not classified under industrial/commercial zone.
Dr. Dipen Agrawal humbly requested CM to grant an Amnesty Scheme for regularization wherein interest & penalty would be waived and also direct the authorities to notify that the MSME units established prior to 06/01/2018 (the date on which the DCR 2012-2032 for Nagpur Metropolitan Region was notified) should be saved from the provisions of the said DCR.
Eknath Shinde said that the government is sized with issue and assured to resolve the matter in the best interest of all stakeholders.
Dr. Dipen Agrawal, President-CAMIT on behalf of business community of the state expressed his gratitude towards Eknath Shinde, Chief Minister, Krupal Tumane, Member of Parliament, Ramtek for being sensitive towards the issues of trade & industry of the state.