After a much-publicised interview with British royal couple Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Oprah Winfrey has created a flutter also with an intimate conversation with actress Priyanka Chopra where she claimed she was familiar with the Islamic community and could relate to it because her father used to sing in a mosque!
A clip of Priyanka from the interview where she spoke about her understanding of different religions surfaced on the internet and netizens were not too pleased about it. The actress spoke about her ‘secular’ upbringing in the interview with Oprah to say that she was aware of Islam as her late father, Dr Ashok Chopra, used to sing in a mosque.
Never mind that secularism is a state policy that implies the laws of the country would not be dictated by any religion. It’s near-impossible for an individual to be secular (not driven by the belief held by any religion). Secularism in India is but interpreted as multiculturalism or pluralism with a soft corner for Muslims.
“With the swirling number of religions that we have, that live within the country as well. I grew up in a convent school. I was aware of Christianity. My dad used to sing in a mosque, I was aware of Islam. I grew up in a Hindu family and I was aware of that,” Priyanka told Oprah in the interview.
However, her statement has raised several eyebrows. Social media users started questioning the actress how her father’s songs in a mosque could make her aware of Islam.
While those who reacted to the statement came from different communities, Muslims were particularly amused.
There were some who asked her to name the mosque her father used to sing at whereas several others mocked her statement and said they “unfortunately remained unaware of Islam since their father never sang at a mosque”.
There were other Muslims who found the claim of Priyanka not adding up. But they made light of her comment with jokes and memes.
About her family life, the actress told Oprah, “Also my family really believed in having a higher power and having a sense of faith. This is again something my dad used to tell me, he was like, basically, religion is all a way to get to a supreme power (sic) and every religion has a different face to the same direction where we`re going – whatever your face is, whatever your version of that is, its just a means to an end. And so, I am a Hindu and I pray, I have a temple in my home, I do it as often as I can. But at the same time to me I am truly more spiritual I feel — I am a believer of the fact that a higher power does exist and I like to have faith in that.”
The interview would have us believe Priyanka struggled during her initial days in the film industry. She spoke also of her relationship with Nick Jonas and her decision to launch her memoir Unfinished at such an early stage.
Speaking about missing her home, India, Priyanka said, “I just miss India. I have not been back since Holi last year and, you know, India`s my home and I just want to come back visit and smell it and live it and meet my friends and I also want to, you know, do a Hindi movie.”
“I have not done that for a while. So, I just miss home a lot. I just want to be able to get on a flight and land in Mumbai,” she concluded.
Besides, Priyanka Chopra has been questioned time and again for making vacuous postures as an environmentalist. While she was seen smoking a cigarette days after appealing to Hindus not to burst crackers on Diwali in consideration of her “asthma”, now people are questioning her concern for water conservation: