Filmmaker, actor and singer Farhan Akhtar turns the spotlight on spreading awareness about gender equality through live gigs


After launching his campaign against rape and gender discrimination called MARD last year, filmmaker, actor and singer Farhan Akhtar has also started touring colleges across the country with his new band called ‘Farhan Live’. According to Farhan, it is a collaborative effort with other musicians and the endeavour aims to spread awareness against gender discrimination through a number of live performances. ‘Farhan Live’ has been endorsed by many celebrities including Preity Zinta, Shaan, Mahesh Babu and Yuvraj Singh. 

Farhan: Felt very correct because it also timed itself with spreading the MARD message. You know where we are going around and narrating the poem, talking to various institutions about gender equality and things. So it all fell together at a very important time, I think, in my life as well as what’s going on around us.

Farhan Akhtar Mard Campaign

The campaign was a big hit on social networking sites and a number of celebrities including Shaan, Mahesh Babu, Yuvraj Singh and Preity Zinta pledged their support for the cause. But Farhan believes it’s a slow process and a significant change in perception will take a long time.

Farhan: We are just here to keep talking about things and keep putting a light on issues that affect us all. So my belief is that the change we want to see can only happen on a huge level as a generational change.

Meanwhile, Farhan admits that performing some of the hit numbers from his films has given him the opportunity to interact with the youth and this experience is far more enjoyable than recording the songs in a studio.

Farhan: Performing live, of course, is way more enjoyable than being in a studio and singing, for sure. We are always looking forward to engaging with the crowd, you know, interacting with them and there’s so much exchange that happens… of energy between the people who are listening and us, performing on stage. But at the same time if you hadn’t done that singing in the studio there won’t be a live song to do on stage.

Farhan Akhtar Live

Farhan is a trendsetter in his own right. His 2001 cult film ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ was instrumental in setting the tone for future urban dramas in Bollywood and his latest effort, which involves spreading a social message through live performances, is yet another noble endeavour.

And here’s Farhan’s take on what he enjoys doing the most, considering he is not just a filmmaker but an actor, singer and an activist, all rolled into one!

Farhan: It’s very difficult to say which one is better… which one is more satisfying than the other. They are all a part of me.They are all different forms of expressions from the same person so it’s very-very difficult to segregate them.   

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