Mallika Sherawat’s video of an interview is currently trending, with very good reason.
The interview is of a reporter asking Mallika why she described India as “regressive and depressing” in a former interview. Mallika clarifies that she did not call India a regressive country, but instead the state of India for women as regressive. The reporter, unable to fathom that Mallika said what she said, in an international platform. The reporter did not like that Mallika gave another reason to an international audience to have a worse impression of India, when they already perceive India as an underdeveloped country. I, on the other hand, am unable to fathom that this reporter, being a female, basically asks Mallika to not present India in such a light in an international platform. Mallika asks why is there a need for her to lie. She adds that if women don’t speak up, India will close its eyes to the sufferings that women are facing, whether it is rape, female feticide, or otherwise.
Being an Indian woman myself, I have faced the double standards-whether that is for my curfew given by my parents or at the age I should marry. I have heard stories of how my Indian girl friends who can’t roam the streets in India at night, without men, and I have definitely read enough stories of rapes to know that yes, India is a regressive state for women.
It doesn’t matter whether Mallika was representing India, a movie or a brand at the international platform, what matters is she spoke up about how the situation really is in India. We are privileged as we can sit at the comfort of our homes, but there are millions of women, who are suffering, only because they are a woman. India needs to step aside from the patriarchal monarchy we have set up. Men may be stronger, but that does not make them superior.