Politics is next on actress Khushboo's agenda
Having won a four-year court battle over her remarks on pre-marital sex, popular south Indian actress Khushboo has now set her eyes on politics and admits her liking for Congress.
"I am silently involved in lot of social work including in the areas of HIV/AIDS, transgenders and cancer. But being in politics gives a larger platform and to work better," she told PTI in an interview in Chennai.
Relieved after the Supreme Court this week quashed 22 criminal cases filed against her for her comments on pre-marital sex, she said, "politics is next step".
However, the actress adds that she has not taken a call on joining a party as of now.
"I like Congress as I grew up with Congress people such as (late actor) Sunil Dutt around me. I have literally seen Union Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde working as a common party man in my locality. I have seen them around me. But I have not taken a call on joining Congress," she said, adding she "followed Congress ideology."
Admires Indira, fan of Rajiv Gandhi
She said she was a "great admirer" of Indira Gandhi, and a "huge fan" of Rajiv Gandhi while her husband, actor-director Sundar C, was a fan of Priyanka Wadra.
Before deciding to take the plunge into politics, she would think about family and acting as "family comes first and acting is a passion," she said.
Looking back at the four-and-half years of court battle, the actress, who once ruled the roost in Tamil filmdom with fans even constructing a temple for her, is happy that the court upheld her right to freedom of speech and expression.
"The SC came down very strongly on the people who went against me, against the media, and a few people who were trying to malign me and create problems," she said.
'I had only cautioned women'
The apex court had allowed the appeal filed by the actress against the decision of the Madras High Court which had dismissed her plea to quash the cases, registered in various places in Tamil Nadu for her interviews in 2005.
Political outfits and a few actors had then said her views went against Tamil culture and values.
After the outcry, Khushboo had tendered an open apology to Tamils, especially women, saying she would never dream of sullying their image.
Khushboo said she stood by her comments to a magazine, which she alleged were "distorted" by the local media. She said she only cautioned women to protect themselves against "unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases" if they were involved in pre-marital sexual relationships.
'Some in moral brigades are targeting celebrities'
"There is a lot of difference between 'If' and 'You can'," Khushboo, who returned in Chennai on Friday after vacation in London, said. In a lighter vein, she thanked the parties, which had launched a campaign against her, for making her "realise my strength and resilience."
However, she was quick to add it was not a personal victory but that of freedom of speech and expression.
She blamed the film industry for giving into "moral brigades" but said she appreciated Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan for not yielding to the Shiv Sena who called for a ban on his movie My Name is Khan following his remarks on inviting Pakistani cricketers to India.
"Some in the moral brigades are targeting the celebrities to secure plum posts in their parties," she added.