WHY THE GAG ON WOMEN EVEN NOW?
Shabana Azmi on ‘lady-oriented’ cinema and more
Women-centric films often find themselves in trouble right before the release, and actor Shabana Azmi says that this is because of gender inequality in society. The latest example is Alankrita Shrivastava’s film Lipstick under My Burkha, which was refused certification by the Central Board of Film Certification — the reason given was that it was “lady-orientated”. Shabana asks, “What does that even mean? It’s about women expressing their sexuality. If they do so, it seems society will crumble.”
Shabana says, “In society, the kind of strictures that are being sought to be put on women need to be broken. You cannot have a healthy society unless women and men get equal opportunities.”
She will be seen in Aparna Sen’s next film, which is about three unmarried women and also stars Lillete Dubey.
Asked if she feels that the film industry, like society, also practises gender-based discrimination, Shabana says that although a lot has changed for the better, we still have a long way to go. “The process has begun,” she adds. “A lot of female actors are demanding and getting as much money as men. That (money) is determined by commerce. If you have a Shah Rukh Khan film, who the heroine is matters only a little bit. But if you have Priyanka Chopra film, chances are that she’ll have to do the film with someone not of [her] stature.”
On support for gender equality from male actors, Shabana says, “It’s important. I credit Shah Rukh. He did Dear Zindagi, in which Alia had the bigger role. This also speaks of your confidence.”
[The film Lipstick under My Burkha] is about women expressing their sexuality. If they do so, seems society will crumble SHABANA AZMI, ACTOR