Madhur Bhandarkar's movie 'Heroine' is a beautiful sarcasm on the women fraternity. I was aghast at the story as it unfolded. Yes, Vidya Balan's Dirty Picture gave an insight into the scheming world of cinema, but this (Heroine) was a real dirty picture as it touched the main heroine's lives. And one understands that anyone with the X chromosome gets this treatment from the 'Y'. It is very shameful how life, ethics, profession, relationship every little thing is defined by sex. The earlier movie 'Fashion' also showcased the unethical inroads of the profession. For the generation which is watching, we need to redefine the meanings for all these words.
We are always talking about the kind of world we would like to leave for the next generation - debates are held, people vociferously argue on issues but absolutely nothing is done on the issues.
The cinema industry is a big hope for people across cultures- but we, as Indians, should be proud of our culture. It is not that I am talking about taboos. Our culture has the distinction of depicting sex through dignity. We had the most erotic of the texts The Kāmasūtra. Wikipedia defines the text as an ancient Indian Hindu text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature written by Vātsyāyana. So it is not that we are new to it but everything has its own space and existence. Why does a house have different rooms? Why not one room for every behaviour?
Once, women were seated on pedestal and later relegated to the corners of the society. Dignity of existence is questioned every moment. The insecurity in a woman who is not acknowledged by a man is what is hurled at the viewer, whatever be the age. The movie is again in a sense, an extempore on the actual situation something which, as a human being, is not accepted. Every human being is a creation, whether man or woman - the cloud, the sun, the air everything is same for all lives. Then where comes the question of complete dependency on man. The human beings must compliment each other rather than being complainants.
The movie showcases the pathetic state of things, though it is real it is very painful witnessing it.
Another interesting facet is the truth that Men are for ever, but women have expiry dates on them. The heroes stand and are worth for a long run but the heroines have just a year or two as the warranty period, after which nobody is interested in them. When a minister made a similar remark on women on a dais in UP, all the hypocrites were up in arms against him, unperturbed by the happenings in reality.
The saying that 'be the change you want in the world' is very apt. Women themselves should realise the importance of dignity and self respect. Enough of this red carpet treatment by chivalrous men, who do not look beyond the carpet.
So much has been said and claimed by the women's organisations but things are getting worsened. From a very young age, the X chromosomes need to be taught, crystal clear, the interpretations of important words - self sufficiency, dignity, self respect, self confidence, courage, independence and all those words which will add more meaning to their lives. It is the responsibility of the Mothers to bring up a very bold generation of women. Every woman must take this responsibility on themselves if we want to come out of this vicious patriarchal cycle otherwise, no one will wish to be born as a woman - the life giver!!!
Madras Christian College
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), English Literature