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Misogyny And Its Love Hate Relationship With Bollywood

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I was sitting at home on a warm Sunday afternoon, with a cup of strong black coffee and a book I have been wanting to finish for quite a while. Mohammad Rafi’s Mausam Bada Baeeman Hai was playing in the background. Despite sitting with the book for a while now, I could not move beyond the one particular page. The reason suddenly struck me, it was the way the song was portraying a certain relationship between the two leads. While the song as a stand alone is quite a lovely one, the lyrics have a haunting underlying significance to them. The songs, not all, but most of them, reeks of misogyny.

In the past, there have been very few movies where women are portrayed as the protagonist. Even the few that are present are riddled with gender biases and rarely have a holistic character sketch to their name. Features like occupation, tradition and introduction of the female character are also done in a very bigoted manner, making it evident the woman in question is of no real importance to the story. Misogyny and Bollywood have always had a love hate relationship, with facts being converted to fiction for the large sake of entertainment.

Random age gaps, comments passed with complete abandon and equality is more often than not just completely tossed out of the window with Bollywood. The Casting Couch is considered to be a myth not a lot of people want to accept and it has, over the years, become the Big Bad Wolf of Tinsel Town. Our B’wood movies love the idea of glorifying everything that is wrong with the world. Our celebrities have claimed to put in a lot of effort into making the world a better place through their corporate social activities. However, what they fail to realise is the simple fact that they have a larger social responsibility through their movies than through the social work.

From eve teasing to stalking to marrying someone who has wronged you, we have learnt that if you (the man, in this case) try enough, then everything works in your favour. Since the beginning of Bollywood cinema, the norm for Bollywood actresses was to be a silent part of the system or risk being seen as ‘inconvenient’ if she speaks out about issues related to gender and objectification while playing glamorous roles on celluloid.

I remember just after the Nirbhaya case, a popular television network had called upon a panel of actors and actresses to address the issue of on screen representation. At one point during this debate, Priyanka Chopra had gone at length to define “item songs” and the showcasing of female body parts as a feminist movement. Shabana Azmi countered by pointing out a simple fact choice was one thing and flaunting your body for the male gaze quite another. Mrs. Azmi was perhaps one of the first actresses in the industry to recognise the subtle and not so subtle relationships sent through popular cinema. She also realised the need to direct messages and send them out in a positive manner. Ironically, Mrs. Azmi was the first woman in the industry to show off her figure or wear flimsy clothes for the camera.

It is not just the roles which have typecast women in a certain manner. Even the lyrics, which we all still enjoy, have a very strong negative connotation. In fact, the Bollywood eve teaser’s anthem should be Palat from the movie Tu Mera Hero. With poignant symbolism and derogatory remarks, the misogyny is extremely apparent in almost all the movies. While the actresses of days gone by did not want to make an issue about this, women from our time have said enough is enough.

Remember Karan Johar’s and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s major rift a while ago? It happened because the actress dared to ask for the same amount of money as the actor and clearly this did not fly well with our esteemed KJo. While there are other directors now who say there are more women centric films, the issue of male dominance is still prevalent. India, as a society is more flexible towards the male gender and Bollywood, has reinforced this fact rather than dispelling it.

Time and time again, we have been told by men, whether subtly or directly, that they are the ones holding all the power. When shown something visually, especially in the form of a movie, it reinforces traditions which we need to shed at one point or another. The time is now and the time is here to stop these misconceptions. It is the 21st century, a time where equality is celebrated and not frowned upon. It is a time where women are allowed to call out a director for his derogatory remarks and it is also the time for women to not be shown cracking eggs on their stomachs to make fried eggs.

Showing women as the weaker gender has to stop. Bollywood must reduce the age gap as well as the wage gap. Women have stopped putting up with this form inequality and it is quite the right time to stop this misrepresentation of the ways of the world. Wake up, Bollywood, you are about a decade old with your scripts and we, as an audience, are quite tired of the misogyny.

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Kareena Kapoor Khan To Unveil T20 World Cup Trophies

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According to the latest reports, actress Kareena Kapoor Khan will, in Melbourne, unveil the trophies for the 2020 T20 World Cup for both men and women.  The 7th ICC T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place from October 18th to November 15th, 2020.  Hosted by Australia, the tournament will see 16 countries participating in 45 matches to win the T20 World Cup.

Kareena Kapoor Khan, whose late father in law was the legendary Indian cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, is excited about the opportunity.  Speaking about the ceremony, Kareena Kapoor Khan said, “I am honoured to be a part of this prestigious evening. I would like to encourage all these women out there who are playing for their respective countries to pursue their dreams. It’s truly empowering to see them stand tall on an international platform.”

On the workfront, Kareena Kapoor Khan will next be seen in the comedy Good Newwz.  Directed by Raj Mehta, the film is produced by Karan Johar under his banner Dharma Productions.  The movie, which deals with two couples’ quest with in vitro fertilisation, stars Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani in lead roles.  Good Newwz is slated to hit theaters on December 27th, 2019.

Kareena Kapoor Khan will become the first Indian actress to unveil the T20 World Cup trophies.

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Akshay Kumar Donates To Flood Stricken Families In Bihar

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Actor Akshay Kumar extended a helping hand to 25 families affected by the floods in Bihar.  The actor announced to donate Rs. 1 crore, which will be used to rehabilitate 25 flood stricken families in Bihar.

Each of the 25 families affected by the floods would be awarded Rs. 4 lakh from the Rs. 1 crore fund.  The families would be given the cheques on the auspicious occasion of Chhath Puja.

Akshay Kumar said, “A natural calamity reminds us we are nothing in front of it. But there’s one more thing, which is what bit can we do. We should do whatever we can. I am very happy that I got the opportunity to do whatever little I could. It couldn’t get bigger than being able to help those people, who have lost everything, start all over again.”

On the workfront, Akshay Kumar’s latest release, Housefull 4, is doing well among the audience.  Directed by Farhad Samji, Housefull 4 is produced by Sajid Nadiadwala under his banner Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment and Fox Star Studios.  The movie stars Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Bobby Deol, Kriti Sanon, Pooja Hegde and Kriti Kharbanda in lead roles. 

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Housefull 4 – Day 1 Box Office Collection

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Housefull 4, Akshay Kumar’s latest release, was well received by the audience despite having tough competition with Saand Ki Aankh and Made In ChinaHousefull 4, which revolves around the theme of reincarnation, managed to bag Rs. 19.08 crores on its opening day itself.

The movie managed to stay at the top at the box office and is expected to perform well during the Diwali weekend.  Despite the film doing well among the audience, it was not well received by the critics. 

Box Office India stated, “The film did slow in the evening due to pre-Diwali but still is the second highest opening ever for a comedy film and the highest opening for the Housefull franchise despite pre-Diwali.”

Housefull 4, which is the fourth installment in the Housefull series, is directed by Farhad Samji.  Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala under his banner Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, Housefull 4 is said to be the most expensive Indian comedy film.  The film saw franchise regulars Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh make a comeback.  Along with Akshay and Ritesh, the film also stars Bobby Deol, Kriti Sanon, Pooja Hegde and Kriti Kharbanda in lead roles.

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Bollywood Stars Celebrate 150 Years Of Mahatma Gandhi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined hands with Bollywood stars to release a video celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.  The video follows the theme of “Change Within.”

The video is directed by renowned director Rajkumar Hirani and brings together 8 Bollywood celebrities to share the important teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.  In the video, every actor recites a quote by Mahatma Gandhi about peace, truth and non violence, among others. The video features Aamir Khan, Alia Bhatt, Salman Khan, Kangana Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Shah Rukh Khan, Vicky Kaushal and Ranbir Kapoor.

Rajkumar Hirani took to Twitter to write about the video and said, “Deeply honoured to have played a small part in showcasing Mahatma Gandhiji’s greatness. Celebrating and saluting 150 years of the Mahatma #ChangeWithin.

 

Prime Minister also shared his thoughts on Twitter and said, “Spreading the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi through cinema, ensuring more youngsters are well-acquainted with the ideals of Gandhi Ji… We exchanged thoughts on a wide range of subjects. Our film and entertainment industry is diverse and vibrant. Its impact internationally is also immense. Our films, music and dance have become very good ways of connecting people as well as societies.

Prior to the release of the video, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited many Bollywood celebrities to his residence.  The meeting focussed on how TV shows and films have helped popularise Mahatma Gandhi and Gandhism.

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Deepika Padukone Becomes Ambassador For Bharat Ki Laxmi Initiative

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Actress Deepika Padukone, along with Indian badminton player P.V. Sindhu, became the face of the Bharat Ki Laxmi initiative.  

The actress shared a video on her social media platform with the caption reading, “Societies grow when women are empowered and their accomplishments are given a place of pride! I support PM @narendramodi ji #BharatKiLaxmi movement. It celebrates extraordinary achievements of extraordinary women of India. This Diwali, let’s celebrate womanhood.”  The video features Deepika alongside P.V. Sindhu, where the duo discuss more about the initiative.

Deepika has been working hard on tackling mental illnesses through her organisation, The Live Love Laugh Foundation.  Recently, she also launched the Closet initiative, where the actress auctions clothes from her personal collection. The entire proceeds from the auction go to her foundation.

On the workfront, the actress will be next seen in Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak and Kabir Khan’s ’83.  While Chhapaak is based on the real life story of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor, in ’83, Padukone plays the role of Kapil Dev’s wife, Romi Dev.  Chhapaak will be released on January 10th, 2020, while ’83 is scheduled to hit theaters on April 10th, 2020.

Bharat Ki Laxmi is a new initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which aims to honour Indian women who worked for the betterment of society and had extraordinary achievements.

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