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Verve People
July 04, 2018

The Women Driving India’s Digital Revolution: Saloni Chopra

Text by Zaral Shah. Photograph by Amit Agarwal (Image provided by Sonali Chopra)

This self-confessed feminist is using the power of social media to break our culture of silence by getting her followers to engage in conversation about women’s rights.

Growing up in Adelaide, Australia, she experienced a whole new world when she moved to India eight years ago — one where laws often fail to bring justice to women. An actor, writer and self-confessed feminist, Saloni Chopra — who has starred in MTV Girls on Top and will be seen in Race 3 soon — spends her spare time doing her bit to break our culture of silence by engaging in debates and conversations with her followers on social media. The topics range from consent to breaking taboos and stereotypes.

“I think the first step is to talk, to get people to engage in conversation about women’s rights — their bodies, their desires and their freedom. The second is to share with people your journey and struggles because people connect with other people’s imperfections and, lastly, motivate them and inspire them to stand up for their own rights. Even if you manage to get people to do one of these three things, it’s a start. I try to talk to women every day about my journey, and remind them to love themselves enough to speak up.”

“The internet is so powerful. We have all the information at the tip of our fingertips and that’s the beauty and the curse of it. While the internet is a place where people are quick to judge, slut-shame, insult and bully others because of the lack of consequences, it’s also the easiest way to share your thoughts and connect with like-minded people — how amazing is that? I wish people in our industry with a voice didn’t talk so much about who’s wearing what outfit and instead used their platforms to talk about issues that matter. From the environment and human trafficking to women — whatever it may be that adds fire to their soul. When you’re famous or known, it’s important to talk about and to stand up for things — how else will you inspire others to do it too?”

“The #MeToo campaign caught my attention. I wrote a piece about my own story too. It was really, really hard. It shook me up a little. But the courage and unity that I witnessed between women gave me goosebumps. It inspired me to speak up. That’s how powerful the internet is. I think right now, today, is the best time to be alive in this world as a woman. It is the most freedom we have ever had, the strongest voice we’ve ever had — and we should not only be proud but also be very grateful to the women who spent their whole lives fighting for this change and left us with the opportunity to live a better life. The people that fought for our rights probably didn’t get to live it, the same way we may not live long enough to see the changes we are fighting for — but someone else will. And that’s enough for me. That’s what keeps me going.”

Next: Ragini Nag Rao

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