Abhay Deol made us fall in love with him the moment he made his debut with Socha Na Tha. And now, 15 years later, the actor still has us crushing on him. 

This time though, it isn't because of his acting skills or his next film. It's the actor's unfiltered and honest opinions that have us gushing over this perfect man. 

Source: Instagram

From refusing mainstream roles and not seeing himself as a Bollywood star, this actor has set the standards too high in the industry. 

I don’t see myself being perceived as a Bollywood star and I wouldn’t want to be that either.

                    - Abhay Deol told The Hindu

He refused stardom, despite coming from a family in the industry and instead used his fanbase on social media to openly talk about issues like wage gap, sexism, colourism and patriarchy in the industry. 

We wait for somebody else, we are not proactive on our own. The pay should depend on the job at hand but not on one's sex.

                    - Abhay Deol to Huffington Post

abhay deol
Source: theindianweekly

The actor has stood up against the blatant stalking glamorised in Bollywood movies and even pointed out the sexism that exists in our society. 

Sometimes we are sexist without knowing it simply because of our conditioning and when someone points it out you should have an open mind to see, 'Oh is that true? Is that even possible?' And only if you are open to seeing your faults can you see them and when you do, you grow in leaps and bounds. That conditioning then just dies in a moment.

                    - Abhay Deol to Huffington Post

In light of the latest Black Lives Matter protests, the actor called out famous Indian celebrities who were quick to talk about the issues in the west but ignored what happened in India during the lockdown. 

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Maybe it’s time for these now? Now that “woke” indian celebrities and the middle class stand in solidarity with fighting systemic racism in America, perhaps they’d see how it manifests in their own backyard? America has exported violence to the world, they have made it a more dangerous place, it was but inevitable that it would come back karmically. I’m not saying they deserve it, I’m saying look at the picture in it’s totality. I’m saying support them by calling out the systemic problems in your own country, because they turn out to be one and the same thing. I’m saying follow their lead but not their actions. Create your own actions, your own movement, relevant to your own country. That is what the black lives matter movement is all about! In the larger picture, there is no “us” and “them”. There is not a country that’s real. But a planet in peril. #migrantlivesmatter #minoritylivesmatter #poorlivesmatter Black Lives Matter (find out why not to use the hashtag and still support the movement).

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Create your own actions, your own movement, relevant to your own country.

Soon after, the actor made a post about Indian celebrities who promote fairness creams in the country and back brands who think 'fair is lovely.' He even provided statistics of how the actor's promoting these brands have boosted the sales and demand. 

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Overall analysis Fairness creams in India have evolved over the years, from being fairness creams to now using euphemisms like “skin brightening/ whitening”, or “lightening creams”. Most brands no longer want to be associated directly with being termed as 'fairness creams’. So now we have brands selling “HD glow”, “White beauty”, “white glow”, “fine fairness”, and so on. Over the years these companies have turned their attention towards the Indian Men, who are now trying to be "fair and handsome", and have dedicated power white ranges for them too. The hunt for fairness: Neutrogena fine fairness: Could not locate it on their global websites but it is available on Amazon and other sellers:https://www.amazon.in/Neutrogena-Fine-Fairness-Cream-SPF20/dp/B00BSPOXMW/ Ponds have a white beauty range: The range includes products like anti-spot fairness cream which is available on affiliate websites like Amazon and Nykaa. On their own website could locate just the White beauty cream. https://www.ponds.com/ph/products/collection/white-beauty/day-cream-for-normal-skin.html* Loreal white perfect day cream: Apparently reduces the melanin level in the skin, gives a rosy appearance to your skin and is suitable for all Indian skin types. "reduce skin darkening and boost anti-spot whitening for a brighter & younger look"https://www.lorealparis.co.in/products/skin-care/day-cream/white-perfect-clinical-day-cream/ Recently, Procter & Gamble skincare brand Olay announced that it will no longer retouch skin in its advertising by 2021 because it reflects an idea of beauty which is almost impossible to achieve. The statement was made during an event in New York. In March 2019, Olay also came up with a creative campaign #FaceAnything with @masabagupta @kubbrasait , @lilly, @bikewithgirl and @_payalsoni_ #Fairandlovely #prejudice #racism #fairskinobsession #fairnesscreams #kalagora #flawlessskin #hdglow #whiteness #complexion #skintone #shades #pearlextracts #microcrystals #ayurveda

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This isn't the first time the actor has voiced his opinion about India being inherently racist. In 2017, the actor shared a series of fairness cream ads promoting 'skin whitening' on his Facebook page. He also went on to sarcastically call out the brands and actors for stating that your skin tone defines who you are. 

In a flock of sheep like actors, Abhay Deol hasn't just been extremely cautious about the roles he picks but also continues to use his platform to voice his opinion when it matters. His Instagram page feels like it belongs to an NGO, with a grid that just has helpline numbers and donation links on it. 

The actor - who has been called a "lazy talented actor" by his filmmakers in the past has even agreed to the term. But is quick to say that it isn't his laziness that holds him back, but the system where he doesn't fit in. 

Source: Instagram

Despite 15 years in the industry, the actor hasn't done as many films as we would want him to. And maybe his vocal opinions and his devil-may-care attitude about norms of the industry are the reason behind it. That doesn't stop us from loving this rebel with a cause.