Preity Zinta was born and raised in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Zinta is ethnically a Rajput Hindu. However, both her primary education and her university education took place in Catholic institutions, and at one point during her childhood, she wanted to become a nun, much to the chagrin of her mother.
Zinta has expressed that, really, she doesn’t buy much into religion and that they all seem the same to her. It’s unclear if she meant that in a disparaging way or not, but nevertheless, she doesn’t much keep up with her Hindu roots:
I believe in good deeds, in karma, I don’t believe in going to temples. For me, religion is very personal. It’s all about having faith. And increasingly I am starting to believe that faith is what we call God. We have heard and read that all religions are equal. Now I am increasingly believing in this.
It’s certainly not atheism we’re dealing with here, but seems to rather be an internal spirituality.
Zinta certainly has her political interests. Her twitter feed is full of political questions and retweets. She asked her followers once:
So what will swing your vote… Development, national security or religion?
An interesting question, one she seems to have answered herself later in the conversation when she retweeted a sort of condemnation of the welfare state:
the real voters in india live in slums and villages. mostly undeducated and drunkers. They vote coz they are paid for
You will also see her complain about non-voters, who she holds in disdain for their complaints, though they don’t vote.
Beyond that, you could call Zinta a feminist. Displaying her intelligence and her desire to positively affect Indian society, Zinta writes a column for the BBC. One column she wrote, called “Odds stacked against Indian women,” laments the barbarism of Indian men, the sexist culture, and encourages all women to be masters of their own destiny. And just to put her money where her mouth is, Zinta adopted 34 poor girls, financially ensuring their continued education, health care and sustenance.
In 2003, Zinta testified against a Mumbai criminal organization that counted among its ranks a prominent Bollywood filmmaker. Many of India’s top actors were also involved with the case but refused to testify out of fear. Zinta received a national award for her bravery, to which she replied:
To be brave is not to be fearless. It is when you fear and you get over it, then you can be called brave.
Zinta strikes me as a truly admirable person–courageous, generous and caring. Let’s hear your thoughts, readers.