"I don't even think everyone should be allowed to vote because they don't know who they're voting for and why they're voting for," the actor said in an interview.

File photo of Vijay Devarakonda looking into a camera wearing a striped jacket in greyFile photo
Flix Controversy Saturday, October 10, 2020 - 12:27

Actor Vijay Deverakonda doesn't entirely believe in democracy. No, we did not say it, he did, in an interview with Anupama Chopra and Baradwaj Rangarajan from Film Companion. The original interview was published on September 1, but a deleted snippet was posted on Film Companion South's YouTube page on October 8. Baradwaj asked Vijay if he was interested in politics and would join a party a few years down the line. And as expected, he has been slammed for his comments on democracy, and for saying he did not think everyone should be allowed to vote.

"I don't even think everyone should be allowed to vote," he says. In a bizarre argument, he points to the fact that passengers don’t vote to decide who gets to fly a plane and suggests that therefore, universal franchise is unnecessary.

"Why we're having money and cheap liquor swing a vote, is ridiculous. I'm not saying that rich people should vote. I don't even think rich people should vote. I think the middle class, who have the most at stake, people who are educated and won't get swung by little money...I don't even think everyone should be allowed to vote because they don't know who they're voting for and why they're voting for," he argues.

"I would like to be a dictator if at all. I think that's the way to go. That's the way you can make change. ‘Just shut up...I’m having good intentions’. You don't know what's good for you maybe, but just stick to this and 5-10 years down the line, it's going to pay off. I think somewhere, dictatorship is the right way, but you need to have a good guy (sic)," he added.

He is then cut off by Anupama Chopra who points out that the argument is a slippery slope.

The interview was first noticed by Twitter user Advaid, who shared a snippet of the video and said, “Did he just say that he prefers dictatorship more than democracy and not everyone should be allowed to vote? Deverakonda is a classic example of how apolitical folks slowly move towards RW authoritarianism in the end.”

Many others also pointed to the insensitive comments made by the actor.

Film critic Anna Vetticad asked," #VijayDeverakonda says only the middle class should be allowed to vote because they "have the most at stake". Does he genuinely believe this or does he have a movie coming up that would benefit from some negative publicity?(sic)"

Journalist Meghnad pointed out, “You know what will fix this country? A dictator. If you belong to a middle class upper caste family, you must have heard this line being uttered often. You know why they say it so confidently? Because the basic assumption is that this dictator is *always* on their side. Those who say "need a dictator" think that they are the ones who are being good citizens while others aren't. In their heads, the rowdy folk who lack discipline need to be "fixed" by using force. This is a sign that the people who want dictatorship are ok with being slaves.”

Watch the entire deleted snippet of Film Companion's interview below.