Open Minds 2018: Soft Power

Alia Bhatt, Actor

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A Different Act

Alia Bhatt has every reason to celebrate. When her first movie, Student of the Year, directed by Karan Johar, released in 2012, she was quickly anointed as just another star child (she’s the daughter of Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan) born with a silver spoon. But in the last few years, the young Bhatt has proved she’s a storehouse of talent. In Udta Punjab, she was the feisty and vulnerable Bihari labourer caught in a dangerous game.

As someone who a lot of youngsters follow, I feel like I really need to do work and say things that help inspire and create some sort of change. Otherwise what is the point of this power that I have been given?

In Dear Zindagi (2016), she did the seemingly impossible and held her own against Shah Rukh Khan. But it is in Meghna Gulzar’s recent release Raazi that she shines brightest. She plays the role of an Indian spy married into a Pakistani military family with a rare strength of conviction. At 25, Bhatt can headline films and make them commercially successful, and that is no mean achievement. With the box office collections of Raazi so buoyant, it would seem the female-lead espionage thriller is one of the biggest movies of the year.

Complete List of Open Minds 2018: Public Square

Salman Rushdie, Author | Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Political scientist | Nandan Nilekani, Infosys Chairman | Srinath Raghavan, Historian | Ram Madhav, BJP Leader | Swapan Dasgupta, Political commentator and MP | Shashi Tharoor, Scholar Politician | TCA Raghavan, Historian | Ramachandra Guha, Historian | Brahma Chellaney, Strategic thinker | Uday Shankar, President, 21st Century Fox, Asia | Anantha Chandrakasan, Technologist | Gita Gopinath, Economist | Soumya Swaminathan, Paediatrician and clinical scientist | Prasoon Joshi, Poet and Censor Board chairman | Madhav Khosla, Scholar | Sidharth Luthra, Lawyer | Shayara Bano, Triple Talaq Petitioner | Reuben Abraham, Economic Analyst | Pratima Joshi, Architect | Reetika Khera, Economist | Shamika Ravi, Economist | Sharmila Bhattacharya, Scientist | Vijay Prasad, Historian | Nayanjot Lahiri, Historian | Avani Chaturvedi, Fighter Pilot, IAF | Pranshu and Nishant Patni, Entrepreneurs

Complete List of Open Minds 2018: Soft Power

Virat Kohli, Captain, Indian Cricket Team | Priyanka Chopra, Actor | Jeet Thayil, Author | Anju Dodiya, Artist | Alia Bhatt, Actor | Rajkummar Rao, Actor | Chetan Bhagat, Author | Jahnvi Dameron Nandan, Perfumer | Rupi Kaur, Poet | Parvathy Thiruvothu, Actor | Sujatha Gidla, Author | Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, Architect | Prayaag Akbar, Author | Ruchika Sachdeva, Fashion Designer | Palghat R Ramprasad, Carnatic musician | Unni R, Author | Kunal Kamra, Comedian | Vikas Khanna, Chef and Television Personality | Shoojit Sircar, Filmmaker | Srikanth Kidambi, Badminton Player | CS Santosh, Off-Road Biking Champion | Mayank Austen Soofi, Author and Blogger | Ratish Nanda, Conservation Architect