Time For Bollywood To Put Down Their Pads And Listen? Comedian Supriya Joshi Thinks So
Bollywood doesn’t half-ass anything. When they want to do something, they’re bound to go all the way with it. Mind you, this isn’t always a good thing.
But sometimes our film fraternity comes together to support a valid cause other than Tiger Shroff’s career. A cause that film Padman claims to champion. A cause which aims to increase awareness regarding women’s rights to safe and sanitary methods of dealing with their menstrual cycle.
Which is a fair enough cause by any measurement.
But because Bollywood and superficiality go together like rajma and rice, what we got from a majority of the industry was a bunch of people holding up pads and putting said sanitary pad-photos on Twitter and Instagram.
— Rajkummar Rao (@RajkummarRao) February 4, 2018
Thank you @pragyavats for the #PadmanChallenge! “Yes that’s a Pad in my hand & I don’t feel weird. It’s natural, Period!”
Challenge your friends to take a photo with a Pad.
Here I am Challenging @sahil_sangha @Ritieshd @alifazal9 #BooToTaboo #HeForShe #BiodegradableNapkin pic.twitter.com/npMLg83jdh
— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) February 3, 2018
Now, is what they are doing wrong? No. Or at least not completely.
In a country of millions where media is dispensed by a small group of elites, it would be irresponsible to automatically assume anything Bollywood does in the name of awareness is bad. But we cannot under any circumstances ignore its primary goal is to sell tickets.
So for all good, the #PadManChallenge might just do, it will always come second to the film’s ultimate earnings at the box office. Which has naturally earned the challenge the moniker of “gimmick” in the opinion of many including comedian Supriya Joshi.
In a Facebook post that went up earlier today, Supriya has addressed something of great importance. Not the cause, or even really the film but how society tends to perceive gestures like these as actual mobilization towards a better outcome.
Which it’s not.
Its purpose is to sell a film, with female empowerment being a convenient collateral. But that doesn’t make it wrong or insensitive.
What is wrong is thinking the words of these actors or celebrities as holy writ. Or expecting them to singlehandedly lead the country towards a new dawn. Not recognizing the long legacy of multiple social workers and everyday men and women like Arunachalam Muruganantham who actively contribute to a movement.
So should Bollywood take up more projects like this? Of course, it should.
Should we wait for an issue to be dramatized on screen before we are willing to do anything about it? No.
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