He was one of the most dreaded villains on screen. But he never needed to abuse or misbehave with women to prove how bad he was.
Shatrughan Sinha who played the bad man memorably in any number of films in the 1970s is totally against the use of abusive language or violence against women.
Says Shatruji, “I can’t understand why we need to have gaalis for the villain to get taalis. In my entire career as a villain which lasted for a good ten years, I never used one expletive one cuss word. I was very sure about my priorities. Bura banunga lekin bura nahin bolunga. Auraton ko kabhi zaleel nahin karunga.”
Shatruji shocks by revealing that he took a vow to never do a rape scene. “It was after I did a rape sequence in a film called Paras. Do you know I was the villain in that film and yet I was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor? After this film I took a conscious decision to never do a rape scene again.”
The actor-politician remembers how on many subsequent occasions he was persuaded to do rape sequences. “But I was very firm about not doing anything that would insult women. I remember in a film called Babul Ki Galiyan where Sanjay Khan was the hero and I was the villain I had to misbehave with Hema Malini (my colleague in the BJP). I flatly refused. I am glad I didn’t do anything that would have compromised my image permanently. At least I can hold my head up high.”
Shatruji wonders why there is such a clamorous insistence on using four-letter words to portray evil. “It isn’t necessary at all. Pran Saab, Danny Denzongpa and I never had to resort to cheap language or behaviour to show evil. Let today’s actors understand that being bad on screen has nothing to do with the number of ‘Teri Maa Ki’ and ‘Behen Ki’ that you use on screen. You can induce evil without getting foul-tongued. Gaalis are only short cuts to create shock effects.”