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The more things change, more they remain the same

Makarand SahasrabuddheMakarand Sahasrabuddhe, development professional, wand... (more)
77 upvotes by Abishake Koul, Adeel Arif, Quora User, Amruta Borkar, Siddharth Bhattacharya, (more)
I have reflected in the past on how Bollywood objectifies women. (Bollywood stars protest against Delhi rape)

Over time Bollywood movies have made some progress in showing the changing image of women. We have bold women centric films coming up every once a while. We have films where the women characters reflect the changing aspirations of women in India. However, I am still left with a lingering feeling of disquiet.

For all the 'new image' that the films try to project, there is still an overwhelming focus on getting married and traditional Indian values.

Look at Cocktail (2012) for instance - you have an ultra bold character, Veronica (played by Deepika Padukone). This is one independent woman who plays a hedonistic character. She is confident of her sexuality and makes no bones about it. On the other hand there is this demure Indian woman Mira (yes yes a very traditional religious name too) who starts of being helpless but gains some confidence. They both fall for the same guy; imo a worthless, self-confessed characterless flirt. In the end the independent woman is willing to change who she is, become 'traditional' so that she can get acceptance and marry the chap. Who wins him in the end? No prizes for that answer. The demure one.

This has happened in hundreds of movies with love triangles; two super-hit ones that I remember from the last 15 years are
  • Dil to Pagal Hai
  • Kuch kuch hota hai (where the heroine does not get the guy until she becomes demure and coy and traditional)
So what are we trying to project?
  • Its fine to be a strong independent woman so long as you know that you need to revert to being traditional to snaffle the guy? Never mind that he is worthless.
  • That snaffling a guy and having babies is the ONLY & ultimate sign of womanhood?
I think it is time for film makers to wake up and smell the roses. What do you think?

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Makarand Sahasrabuddhe
Makarand Sahasrabuddhe
development professional, wanderer.