Work So Hard On Your Craft That No-one Calls You An Outsider: Amit Sadh

The Breathe actor on his difficult journey, the ongoing insider-outsider conflict in Bollywood and what he feels needs to change
Work So Hard On Your Craft That No-one Calls You An Outsider: Amit Sadh
Actor Amit Sadh has been working in the industry for over a decade now, known for films like Kai Po Che, Sultan and Sarkar 3, as well as web series like Amazon Prime Video's Breathe. In a recent conversation with Film Companion editor Anupama Chopra, the actor spoke about his difficult journey, the ongoing insider-outsider conflict in Bollywood and what he feels needs to change:

Edited Excerpts:

Anupama Chopra: You said in your Ted Talk that there is no such thing as an insider or an outsider. That is a wonderful sentiment, but we know that is not the ground reality and the last few weeks has really put that into focus. How do we make the industry a more equitable place?

Amit Sadh: Firstly, I would like to state that when I say I am not an outsider, there is a sort of protection to it. It is almost said in anger. It's like a war, but there are two kinds of war, one in which you cry victim and you nullify all the good that happened to you and all the people who supported you. So when I said I am not an outsider, I meant it more like a warrior or soldier – I am not going to allow you to treat me like an outsider. I am an insider.

I needed that at that point in time. But today I am glad that there are people talking about it and there is a debate and that we are ready to address this without victimizing people. If I say that all the people I met were bad to me, then how come a guy like me who didn't know anything knows a little today? I have had a huge change and transformation and learning in life and that is because of this industry. The easy thing is for people to victimize themselves and discourage others. My take on this is to work so hard on your life and your craft that nobody takes you as an outsider.

What saddens me is that despite us being an industry with such bright minds, we have to discuss insider and outsider. Is this the form of art? Don't we have anything else to discuss? Everyone at a level of power has to eradicate the special privileges, at least in art to start with. It has to come from the people in power. It's very simple and I have a lot of hope that we can create an equal and fair ecosystem. I have nothing against any privileged set, but we have to create some sort of equality.

I think earlier there was a system that pushed people and helped them grow but now the system requires ready-made people. Everybody cannot be ready-made. So they need to keep a balance and understand that that is a system that needs to be cultivated. And I think if we put emphasis on that, then there would be a nice balance and this whole outsider-insider discussion would reduce.

Anupama Chopra: What do you sense from the conversations around you? Do you actually think there are going to be changes on the ground?

Amit Sadh: You can call me a fool but I'm an eternal optimist. I feel that any change that you want to see is something that we need to bring with our own actions. One of the most important things that I've learnt in my life is that we can always correct our course. But it has to be done in a positive way. I feel that accusing and abusing will take you nowhere. I have a strong hope that we'll become more gentle with each other and will create an atmosphere filled with the hope of betterment of art and securing artists and preserving them.

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