Jul 14, 2016

Doing An Item Song In Front Of Fifty Men In A Bar Is A Woman's Choice, Says Rahul Bose

Source : India Times

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Rahul Bose might be doing less films, but whatever little he has done has always stood out. Yes, he prefers to stay away from the arch-lights, for he prefers to allow his body of work to do all the talking. So when he spoke about the issue of gender equality in both personal and professional life, we were all ears.

Rahul, who is the global ambassador of Oxfam India spoke about how gender sensitivity plays an important role in cinema. He agreed to the fact that the film industry pans out male and female actors differently. Oxfam India and MAMI Mumbai Film Festival are coming up with an award to recognise the "Best Film on Gender Equality". Ask Rahul whether this award will impact a change, and he says it'll take time but the change will come.

"Slow and hopefully, steady. It will alert people that there is something called gender sensitivity in a movie. I don't think most filmmakers have that consciousness as yet."

Rahul feels such films will have a direct impact at the box office too. Referring to films like Queen and Neerja, which did manage to bring about a certain change in the way women-centric films are treated in Bollywood, he feels the change will surely reflect on the films' scripts with time.

"I grew up in a house seeing reversed gender roles between my parents. Every morning my father packed our lunch boxes, while my mother encouraged me to play rugby. I never saw my mother walk behind my father... There is no surprise about the way things are in the industry - it's a reflection of how women are viewed in society. The commodification of women is near absolute, be it on the cover of a magazine, music video or an item song. To me the idea of gender equality is two fold: one, for women to have power to make their own choices, and two, to be treated as anybody else would, regardless of gender."

Rahul makes a valid point about the way item songs are treated in Bollywood too.

"Doing an item song in front of fifty men in a bar, is a woman's choice. I'm fine with it. But she should have complete awareness and knowledge of the consequences of her choices. The moment a film chooses to include an item song that has nothing really to do with the narrative of the film, it means they don't know how to take the story forward and the only way to interest the audience is by titillating them with a woman's body. There is a large section of women who unwittingly, unknowingly buy into that."

Rahul agrees that films are one of the biggest influencers in the society as the audience idolise film characters and actors. He shared that he has set up a sexual harassment code on the sets of his directorial film Poorna, a first for the industry. He believes having a dialogue with the filmmakers is of prime importance, who can maintain the gender sensitivity in their films while not compromising on its commercial success. He signs off!

(Read the full interview here)

 

Source: India Times

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