It hasn’t even been a week since Sanju’s release and the film has already caused stir among women’s rights activists. They believe that the story being told glorifies a man who is showing conning and gaslighting hundreds of women.
The harmfulness of such a portrayal when coming from an industry that has been known to objectify women for the visual pleasure of the male audience is pretty obvious. And Bollywood actor Mallika Sherawat, when commenting on a film like Sanju being made, agrees that it is time we speak about it. She goes on to speak about the responsibility of celebrities in educating the masses using their influence and how it is very important. But that brings us to another question and that is the question of how has she handled that responsibility herself.
By starring in movies that degrades and objectifies women to starring in item songs that have never been about anything other than pleasing the male viewership, how much of that responsibility has she actually gone on to uphold? Not much, we would say. But this is not a problem that involves just her.
So far, only Kangana Ranaut has outrightly refused to take up roles that show women in a twisted light but since she is one of the only one doing that, she has become the target of many negative comments.
Celebs need to practise what they preach
Celebrities need to come forward and make their stance clear, and not just in obscure interviews that people might not watch anyway. They need to take up roles that promote these stances and push for the making of films that stops turning women into sex objects, deserving of no respect. The problem with India right now is that people are choosing to ask the wrong questions.
They ask how India can be number one in the list of countries that’s most unsafe for women. Nobody asks why we even made it to the list. When we realise that pointing to middle-eastern countries and saying that they are more unsafe compared to India is not going to help, only then can we start working towards the better. And this is where people’s beloved celebrities come in. It is high time they use their influence to educate the masses not only through interviews but by asking for better movies that do not glorify abuse and disrespect to women.
Yes, Mallika clearing her stance in the interview is a step forward but it is only a baby step. Others must follow suit and be louder in their support, especially through the kind of movies they choose to do. Only then can India truly be safe. Because it doesn’t matter if India is safer than Saudi Arabia, Iran and the other countries. It will only matter when we are the safest in the world!