Prakash Jha: Changing others' opinions by scaring them is wrong

Mumbai: National Award-winning filmmaker Prakash Jha feels the social media space has become toxic because people are not using their freedom of expression responsibly. Rather, they are doing so randomly. He feels forcing opinions and victimising people who are on the other side of the debate is wrong.

Jha is currently gearing up for public reaction to his new web series "Aashram", which premieres on Friday. The show could ruffle a few feathers, what with Bobby Deol, as the protagonist, essays a corrupt godman.

"I think most people these days use their freedom of expression not with responsibility, rather randomly. There is nothing wrong with protesting or rejecting. But if someone has an opinion, let them have their opinion too. You can disagree and say 'I do not agree with you, thank you!' and move on. But to make sure that you are changing others' opinions by scaring them is wrong," Jha told IANS.

"In fact, that is why I am not on social media -- whether it is Twitter or Facebook. I also want to add that news these days is manufactured and retold with a point of view. That has become very difficult to digest. These days, people do not mind hurting others and that is wrong," he added.

Does he have an apprehension that his web series "Aashram" could raise problems, given its religion backdrop? "That is precisely the reason I am talking to the media. I am telling a story through the web show. I am practicing my freedom of expression responsibly, and not defaming religion. Rather, I am telling a story of those who are defaming religion," he said.

"Aashram" features Bobby with Anupriya Goenka, Aaditi Pohankar, Chandan Roy Sanyal and Darshan Kumaar among others, and drops on MX Player.

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