From being an actor to an activist, Gul Panag has made her presence felt. Known for her performances in off-beat films like Dor and Manorama Six Feet Under , she is also a member of the Aam Aadmi Party. In 2014 she contested for the Lok Sabha from Chandigarh on the party ticket but was not successful. She is an active participant on social media and comments on critical issues of national importance.
Gul, recently in the Capital for the chapter launch of Amish Tripathi’s upcoming book, Scion of Ikshvaku , spoke to Friday Review about books, politics and much more .
What are the kind of book you read and who is your favourite Indian author?
I read some non-fiction and fiction. Mostly, I read a lot of fitness journals and books on nutrition because it is something I am very passionate about. To be honest, my favourite author in Indian fiction category is Amish (Tripathi) and it is not because he is my friend. It is mainly because his books are riveting. They hold my attention. After finishing The Secret of The Nagas , I was just so angry that he left us hanging! It was a perfect cliff-hanger.
Tell us more about the book you are writing.
I am giving finishing touches to my fitness journal. It is a book that chronicles my learning experience on the journey of fitness. Also, it brings out the fact that being fit is easy. Contrary to popular notions, it is not rocket science. That is the message I want to give out to all the women out there who think it requires a lot of time to be fit. I want to let them know that it is easy and it can be done.
Since you are quite active on Twitter, do you think social media platforms are an excellent tool for our democracy?
I wouldn’t be overstating it if I say that I am a product of the digital age in India. Twitter gave me the platform to make my voice heard on any matter. I had interests beyond films and Twitter allowed me to reveal that side to the world. Also, I am as much a tax-paying citizen as a lawyer and doctor, then why should my opinion count less or more?
Social media has broken compartments and our own-dimensional perceptions. It has allowed us to say things that are not just limited to our vocations.
During the Delhi elections, your campaigns on your bike were a hit. What are the ideas for the upcoming Punjab elections? What is your take on the ongoing controversy between the Governor of Delhi and AAP Government?
I am party volunteer, member and supporter. Whatever it is that the party wants me to do in terms of campaigning in Punjab or anywhere else, I will do it to the fullest of my abilities. It is not the right time to talk about the ideas now. Of course I do have ideas and I will share it in the party forum. The party’s collective wisdom is bigger than mine. I would be happy to do whatever the party sees fit for me to do.
Going ahead is going to be tough. We (AAP) have chosen a path that is unconventional. Also, Delhi’s unique constitutional position will always pose challenges. But the idea is to rise above challenges and deliver for what we got this massive mandate for. Not having law and order under the government will pose challenges but we are duty bound to surmount those challenges. The journey is long and we cannot be discouraged just at the beginning.
Do you have any projects lined up in Bollywood?
I have read some scripts and one is particularly interesting. We have to wait and see how that turns out. But I have other commitments as well. I run a production company and I am also the co-founder of a fitness company called MobieFit. Our first app was launched two weeks ago. So along with being an actor, I am also a technological entrepreneur and that keeps me busy. For me, to justify time away from my entrepreneurial ventures, I need to be enticed by a really good script. I don’t see the logic of doing a film only for the sake of it.