"one should be fluent in the language."
Sona Mohapatra has called it a “shame” that some Bollywood actors can “barely” speak in Hindi.
The singer said that while South Indian cinema embraces its culture, some Hindi film actors struggle to even speak the language properly.
The Hindi language debate hit headlines when actor Kiccha Sudeep said that Hindi is no longer the Indian national language.
This did not go well with Ajay Devgn, who had said:
“My brother, if according to you Hindi is not our national language then why do you release your movies in your mother tongue by dubbing them in Hindi?
“Hindi was, is and always will be our mother tongue and national language. Jan Gan Man.”
When asked to comment on the debate, Sona said:
“I can say one thing, that I have watched RRR and Pushpa and I was literally jumping and dancing and kind of making the ‘foofa’ crowd uncomfortable and I had one reaction. Hats off!
“The effort, the art direction, the casting was brilliant. It was great to see them embrace their culture.
“Although we have some incredible stars in Bollywood, I must say that there are actors who can barely speak Hindi and it’s a shame because, as a Hindi film star, one should be fluent in the language.
“The Indian aesthetics are quite strong in South films.”
Sona Mohapatra will be seen in her documentary Shut Up Sona, which is described as a commentary on music and the Bollywood industry through a feminine lens.
On how she came up with the idea, Sona said:
“Shut Up Sona is a window to the life of a woman performing artist as it is about the politics of gender and the politics of our music industry.
“It is a commentary from a feminine lens where opportunities are few for us to make any kind of mark. And the irony is we are from the land of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.
“Lata Ji was a doyen when it came to the music industry, she influenced a whole country.
“But now we find ourselves in a place for the last 10 years where the number of female artists has steadily declined.
“The film is not an angry rant. It is a love letter to my country.”
“But when it comes to Mumbai, there seems to be gatekeepers in the way who ensure that I have a much tougher time getting work, let alone be a woman with a voice.
“And I’m not going to stop talking anytime soon! That’s why the title Shut Up Sona is kind of ironic and a tongue-in-cheek term.
“Let me clarify something. Unlike all other hagiographies made in Bollywood, this is not one of them.
“I have not made a film to glorify myself, neither is it an autobiography. I was not plying anyone with Sona Mohapatra’s biography. It is a musical and political film.
“The reason I thought of doing this was I genuinely found myself pushed to a corner.
“I was in hospital and a tumour was dug out of my body and I said ‘Oh my God, I need to tell my story!’ I needed to grab this opportunity and not wait for anyone to give me a chance. The vision was simple.
“I wanted to write a musical love letter to India- cinematically. Never thought about where the money will come from?”
Shut Up Sona will begin streaming on July 1, 2022, on ZEE5.