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Women’s Day: Have Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone changed the rules of the game for actresses in Bollywood?

Oh Yes! Today we are celebrating the International Women’s Day. One day from the entire year where we appreciate and recognise women’s value and their worth. But, don’t you think every day should be as important and not only March 8. That’s a totally different debate and we can discuss it on some other day. Let’s shift our focus to Bollywood and how we treat and respect our actresses in general.

The Hindi film industry has been finally forced to change with modern times and give leading ladies their due. Gone are the days of women being glorified for their beauty and item songs and used as sensual and sex objects. And also running around trees just to satisfy their leading man’s ego and hubris. Over the last 15 years, we have seen many women-centric films being made. They have not only been appreciated for its story and content but also done exceedingly well at the box-office.

Can we consider some names for the moment, please? Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Anushka Sharma, Kangana Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra. These powerful actresses are not acting in the movies to just be spectators and eye candies, but are superb at their craft and leave nothing to chance. The above-mentioned performers are getting meatier roles and have turned the tables in the industry upside down.

Films like ‘Queen’, ‘Raazi’, ‘Padmaavat’, ‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’, ‘Neerja’ and ‘Veere Di Wedding’ have proved that these actresses mean business and they are not just their to fill numbers or go through the motions. The likes of Deepika and Alia are extremely talented and it is so good to see that filmmakers are writing scripts and stories for them.

People and so called expert commentators always say that heroines have a shelf life and after they get married and have kids, their career is as good as over and they can only get secondary or sub-standard roles. Well, that myth has been shattered completely by Anushka, Deepika, Sonam and Priyanka. They’re tying the knot at the peak of their powers and their career is flourishing more than ever.

The Hindi film industry is now trying to reach a place, where there should be pay parity between male and female actors, which is still not the case. At least now, a discussion is taking place and actresses can also shoulder the project on their own. Kangana Ranaut might not be everyone’s favourite, but what she has accomplished (three national awards without any big daddy) is no mean feat and we need more women like Kangana in our patriarchal society who can break the glass ceiling. Anushka Sharma and Sonam Kapoor have rewritten the definition of much maligned and abused word ‘feminism’ and are an inspiration to millions of girls worldwide.

India is a very sexist and misogynistic society (Yes! We are and let’s cut the crap and accept this) and the good old Bollywood is a manifestation of this. Women are no longer second class citizens and in my mind, they never were. By celebrating Women’s Day on March 8 every year, we are not doing any charity to them. Women’s Day should be celebrated every day and Bollywood is finally broadening its horizon and becoming a more level playing field.

Also Read: Has Karan Johar underachieved as a director?

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