Ayushmann Khurrana on Hindi Row: ‘We Can’t Put One Language At Forefront Whether It’s Old Or New’ | Exclusive

Actor Ayushmann Khurrana has expressed his views on the debate surrounding Hindi as India’s national language which was triggered after a Twitter exchange between Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn and Kannada star Kiccha Sudeep. Ayushmann, who is currently receiving rave reviews for his newly released movie Anek based on the political conflicts of Northeast India, said that India is home to different cultures and languages and hence “we cannot really put one language at the forefront.”

When we asked Ayushmann about his stand on the ongoing debate, the actor said, “I really don’t know what should be the criteria for this whether the newest language should be the national language or the oldest language should be the national language. It’s about jo aapki language hai wo aapko pasand hai. We cannot put one language at the forefront whether it’s old, new, or a mixture of languages. This is not that country. Hindi is a mixture of a lot of languages. Like in colloquial tongue, we usually mix three languages– Hindi, English, and Urdu. It’s like a buffet of languages in our country so every language and culture is important.”

Meanwhile, for Anek, Ayushmann has collaborated with director Anubhav Sinha for the second time. The duo has previously worked in the acclaimed film Article 15. “We keep on jamming on different subjects. Over the years, we have been in touch with each other regarding different subjects and opportunities. While shooting for Article 15, we discussed this subject. He eventually wrote a script and I got excited and we went ahead with it,” the actor said.

He continued, “The soul of the film is the same. It’s an extension of Article 15 for me because it’s about an issue. It’s the issue of discrimination again. But last time, it was about casteism. This time it’s about racism. It’s a different milieu but it’s uncharted territory for us. It’s all the more challenging.”

Over the years, Ayushmann has taken on stories that don’t easily become the subjects of mainstream cinema. From Vicky Donor and Dum Laga Ke Haisha to Badhaai Do and Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, Ayushmann has simply established a separate genre for his cinema which not only talks about issues that matter but also deals with them with utmost honesty and sincerity.

Does he feel responsible as an artiste beyond his parts in these socially-relevant movies? Ayushmann said, “I have done a couple of films on the LGBTQ+ community, and of course, behind the scenes, I do some work but I don’t have to say it on camera. Now at the same time, it’s also the job of an artiste if you are working on a particular subject selflessly because historically films that are totally opposite to popular belief don’t do well on the big screen like Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan had an opening of Rs 10 crore but did not make Rs 100 crore. It also holds true with Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui. I really feel for those subjects but I also know that they are huge risks because they are totally opposite to the popular conservative belief.

“For me, it’s a big step for an artiste and the same goes with Article 15 or Anek. You can’t look at them with a commercial lens or gaze. I guess if an artiste is doing three films a year and also taking more interest in social issues which are beyond the commercial realm of the stereotypical way of the prototype of a commercial hit, then that’s my way of expressing or supporting the community or the cause,” Ayushmann concluded.

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