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Swara Bhasker: Actor-Activist

If you ever wonder what made a talented actor like Swara Bhasker an activist that may see her lose a promising career in Bollywood then you should read her foreword in the book Inquilab: A Decade Of Protest. This is a collection of articles penned by various activists like Anna Hazare, Kavita Krishnan, Rana Ayub, Nayantara Sehgal, Ramachandra Guha etc. Swara writes that she grew up in defence services gated colony as her father is Commodore C Uday Bhasker, now retired. The colony consisted of three multi-storeyed buildings occupied by the families of officers serving the defence forces. The separate lift and staircase for officers and servants intrigued the 10-year old Swara. Now, segregation based on hierarchy in the armed forces isn’t a new thing. But this discrimination disturbed her? So she asked her father: “Is it not like our own kind of apartheid?” Her father smiled and told her: “Well, if you think it’s wrong you should do something about it.” Encouraged by her father, she did protest and took a signature campaign but of no avail. Like charity begins at home, so too for her, the crusading started at home.