The announcement that Shahid Kapoor will be portraying the former boxing champion and Asian Games gold medallist Dingko Singh on screen left many unhappy. Several cinegoers took to social media to question why wasn't a Northeastern actor cast in Raja Krishna Menon's film on the Manipuri boxing hero.
In an interview with a leading daily, Shahid said that he was "surprised" by the criticism for signing the film. "We are one country! I was born in Delhi, I live in Mumbai. I've played Tommy Singh, a Punjabi (in Udta Punjab; 2017), a Kashmiri boy (in Haider; 2016), now I'm playing Sushil Kumar Pant (Batti Gul Meter Chalu)... No one from these states seemed to have any problem," he said.
Asking the disgruntled people to "rise above all this", he quipped, "I feel, the thing with biopic is that looking exactly like a person makes it caricature-ish. To me, representing someone as who he is as a person rather than what he looks like is more relevant. I'm doing the film because his journey is inspiring."
Shahid added, "I think it's a privilege that the director thought I could do it and I hope that people will see it in the context. Let's stop finding reasons to separate ourselves from each other. One of the most important things for an actor is to get over his color, race, background... to discover new and different people and represent them."
Meanwhile, Shahid's latest film 'Batti Gul Meter Chalu' has been performing exceedingly well at the Box Office.