Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji is facing heavy criticism due to her negative and controversial remarks about ongoing #MeToo movement. The latest round-table conference by Indian journalist Rajeev Masand featured some of Bollywood’s biggest female stars: Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Alia Bhatt, Tabu, Rani Mukerji and Tapsee Pannu. Now, this seems like quite a reasonable group of women, capable enough of having a decent conversation, right?
“I would like to take this platform to say something which I have lived with in this industry for so many years. I think, as a woman, you have to be powerful within yourself. You have to believe that you are so powerful that if you ever come into a situation like that, you have the courage to say ‘back off,’” Mukerji said, using her hands to express her vehemence. “I think everything relates to what you want out of your lives,” the actor added, by then a little short of thumping her chest, visibly impressed by her own words.
“I think it is important for women to believe in themselves and say that if they don’t want it to happen, it will not happen,” Mukerji went on with her sermon as if, by chance, she had transformed into the cop she had played in the 2014 film Mardaani. At this point Padukone interjected and tried reasoning. “I don’t think everyone is constructed that way.” Mardaani, however, had a quick solution. “Those are the women we need to talk to and tell them, you guys need to change.”
“In life, we cannot depend on how the other person will behave with us. We have to take responsibility for our own selves,” she retorted when Sharma opined that the conversation was again becoming on how a woman is expected to change and not the other way around. Mukerji was not done yet. How do women take responsibility for themselves? “Learn martial arts,” she said, throwing her own hands in the air as if exhibiting a latent talent we did not know she had.
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17 November, 2019