Sha­bana Azmi on ‘lady-ori­ented’ cinema and more

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - An­juri Na­yar Singh an­juri.na­yar@htlive.com

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


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