It’s been nearly a decade since Alia Bhatt answered incorrectly when she was asked to name the President of India, and replied Prithviraj Chavan instead of Dr. Pranab Mukhejee. The mistake followed her for a long time as she was asked such questions frequently during her media interactions, in addition to social media users circulating memes about her intelligence. Also Read| Alia Bhatt says she faced casual sexism in film industry: ‘I wouldn’t notice it’
Alia has been very careful about not repeating her mistake, and chose to avoid answering when she had some confusion about the question recently. She also said that she loves it when people think she is ‘dumb’ or ‘intelligent.’
As she was reminded about those days during a recent Indian Express event, Alia was swift to name the current President, and chimed in ‘Droupadi Murmu Ji.’ When asked about her evolution from those days to now being perceived as smart and wiser beyond her days, Alia said, “I love it when people think that I am unintelligent, or that ‘oh she is so dumb.’ I genuinely do, because they make so many memes on me which add to the popularity, and then it’s like you are loving my movies. So there is possibly something that I am doing right in the movie business…I also want to put out this message for young girls– general knowledge and bookish intelligence in my opinion is not intelligence. To survive in a world, you have to have a certain emotional intelligence, which is possibly the highest form of intelligence.”
Alia admitted that she does not remember what she read in the books in her school, but rather remembers what she learned in her interactions with teachers and students, noting that she didn’t feel the need to do that as she had to go into a creative field. She also insisted that she knew the correct answer when she was asked to name India’s President during an appearance on Koffee With Karan in 2013.
She said, “My father says ‘rather be stupid than pretend to be intelligent.’ I had this interview on 23rd July when somebody asked me who is the President of India and I was like right now the ceremony hasn’t happened yet, so I am not sure what to say. So I would rather not say anything… In my defence, for the millionth time, I knew who the President of India was (in 2013). It was just confusing. You put anybody in the spot and ask them to give an answer, all wrong answers come out.”
Alia will be next seen in Darlings, which also marks her production debut. The Netflix film, scheduled for a release on August 5, also stars Shefali Shah and Vijay Varma.