Lead life on your own terms, says Vidya Balan
For years, there have been item songs galore with double entendre lyrics and cameras capturing female actors’ curves. But National Award winning actor Vidya Balan says the scenario has changed, and female actors, at least in India, are in a position to avoid being objectified on screen anymore.
“There are pockets that are progressive and they have education, awareness and opportunities, but there are parallel realities. We entrust the power of our lives to them (men). They began to abuse that power in a lot of ways and this is the reason why even educated men feel that they have the right to do anything with women,” Vidya said, and stressed that every woman has the right to ‘lead life on her own terms’ — something the actress has been conveying through her choices in Bollywood.
“Time has absolutely changed,” Vidya told a media person when asked about her take on the objectification of women in Bollywood.
“I have seen this change for the past five to six years when I started doing films like Ishqiya or No One Killed Jessica. I personally believe that women are not willing to be objectified on screen anymore... they feel that they can object to being objectified. That’s why there is not much of objectification on screen of women anymore,” she added.
Time and again, Vidya has made unique choices for her silver screen appearances.
Having made her cinematic debut in 2005 with Parineeta, an adaptation of a 1914 eponymous Bengali novel, Vidya has proved her versatility —whether it was the manipulative Krishna of Ishqiya, the strong-willed Sabrina in No One Killed Jessica, Vidya Bagchi, a woman with a vegeance in Kahaani, an unwed mother in Paa, and the bolder than the boldest Silk in The Dirty Picture.”
Her last released film was Mohit Suri’s Hamari Adhuri Kahani in which she played a married woman, also a victim of domestic violence. “If I talk about domestic violence, I never understood it. I have been brought up in an environment of freedom and independence and I cannot understand why anyone can keep quiet when they are abused, especially a grown-up woman. So for this role, I had to first mentally prepare myself to accept these things.
“I had to realise that it's not just about domestic violence, but believing that you are actually your husband’s property and this attitude is quite prevalent amongst us Indians,” said Vidya, who in real life, is a happily married woman.