Sonam on backlash for changing her name

Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor, who walked the red carpet at the 71st Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday and Wednesday, has responded to social media criticism of her taking husband Anand Ahuja’s name. Sonam got married to long time boyfriend Anand on May 8, just days before she left for Cannes. Soon after the ceremony, she changed her name to Sonam Kapoor Ahuja.

Asked about all the backlash she has been receiving ever since, Sonam told India Today in an interview on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival, “I had decided earlier, it is a choice and if people don’t understand feminism, they should go online and check the definition. And, how do you know Anand hasn’t changed his name?”

She also explained the reason behind Anand’s much-talked about sneakers at the wedding reception. “He just wore sneakers to make fun of me and he didn’t want to wear formal shoes all evening so he just wore sneakers. And he is not used to media and camera.”

Sonam also spoke about polarisation in India and said we need to show more compassion. “I love India, I love what it stands for I love that we have the most amount of languages, the most of religion, that we are a liberal country, that we a democracy. We have so many kinds of people, why not celebrate it instead of going the other way?,” she told the news channel.

Sonam further said, “The whole world is getting polarised, I think it is very wrong to blame just India. Whether it is America, the UK, Europe, it’s everywhere. We need to speak up. People who have a platform need to say that the only way to live happily is to live together and tolerate one another… tolerate is also a bad word, it has negative connotations. But to kind accept one another and be happy with each other. That can only be done with grace, humility and compassion. It can’t be done with aggression and negativity and intolerance.”