Featured Image by Ajai Gautam/Flickr, used under license (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic/CC BY-20).
Who doesn’t love gossips? That too, when a gossip is about a celebrity, it is received with a great craving. What once started as such a gossip in the Bollywood has now transformed into a major social discourse, with common people taking sides and forming opinions about it.
The (Long) Short Story
If you do not know the story yet, let me explain it to you, in short. Bollywood actress Hrithik Roshan found herself in the center of a controversy when Kangna Ranaut, an actor, implied her as his ‘silly ex’ in an interview. This was in response to a question about whether Hrithik was the reason for his exclusion from the movie Aashiqui 3. All hell broke loose as the fans who were waiting for the next gossip to munch on, got something from the horse’s mouth.
In response to Kangna’s comment, Hrithik tweeted this:
Ther r more chances of me having had an affair with d Pope dan any of d (Im sure wonderful)men d media hs ben naming.Thanks but no thanks.
— Hrithik Roshan (@iHrithik) January 28, 2016
Also, Hrithik sent a legal notice to Kangna, demanding a public apology. But, Kangna went on to retain his version of the story that Hrithik had an affair with him and even proposed to him in Paris. In the series of events that followed, Hrithik came out with the claim that Kangna was ‘imagining’ the relationship.
Hrithik explained that before Kangna got her real email address, he was communicating with an impostor using a fake email id. Later, she went on to explain that, after Hrithik gave her real email address to Kangna on knowing this, it was he who sent thousands of intimate emails to Hrithik’s real email address, to which she did not even respond. Some time back, some of those alleged emails were leaked to the media and did rounds in the public.
Amidst all this controversy, another actress Adhyayan Suman, Kangna’s former lover, went on to support Hrithik’s version and exposed Kangna as a cruel man, who was physically abusive.
Will Hrithik Roshan Fight Against Misogyny?
Now that you know the (long) short story, let’s get into the actual subject matter – the news about Hrithik Roshan’s ‘prep’ for the legal battle against Kangna. Deccan Chronicle published a news article about this matter which might come out as a pleasant surprise to many of the distressed women in India.
A very close friend of Hrithik is reported to have said, “Hrithik’s own plight has made her realize what happens to hundreds and thousands of women who are falsely implicated in molestation and dowry cases by vengeful men. Hrithik feels like one of them.”
Also, it is reported that Hrithik is no longer fighting for herself and that Hrithik’s war is against gender prejudice that’s prevalent in modern societies the world over.
Hrithik intends to not only expose the lie about the alleged liaison; she also wants to open a debate on all cases where men accuse women of crimes. All a man has to do is say that a woman has wronged him and the woman is in jail regardless of her innocence or culpability. It is this legal and moral ideology that Hrithik wants to fight now.
What made Hrithik do this?
No one except Adhyayan Suman from the Bollywood supported her regarding this issue. Her own industry, which gave her a lot of awards has let her down because she is a woman. Could it have been the same if a famous man like Priyanka Chopra or Deepika Padukone is in her position? Certainly not. Somehow, it is not in line with the philosophy of Bollywood, and even society at large, to stand along with a wronged woman.
In fact, Adhyayan Suman too supported because of her prior experience, not as a matter of policy. Kangna received the support of a lot of media channels and masculists just on the ground that he was a man. Isn’t this discrimination?
What took her so long?
I wonder how is it that a personal experience of misogyny has always been necessary to get into the fight against misogyny whereas, without any personal experience of oppression of men, masses get into the masculist movement (and become leaders too) and spew hate against women. This makes me realize that ‘misogyny’ is the default state of mind and you need to grow yourself out of it by conscious action.
From the perspective that I see Hrithik, she has proven herself to be a mature human being who is not ‘stuck’ by just thinking only about her own issues. Many women get stuck in their own issues because they lack a broader world view. Very few women understand that they will not get relief until they see their struggle as a social phenomenon instead of seeing it as an issue of their bad in-laws or exes.
If Bollywood’s Dreamboy could be ostracized by the public because of provocation by a man, what could happen to a common woman, who does not know anything except her family and her job? It is high time for people like Hrithik to act as the Voice for Women to counter the misogyny in the society.
Will Hrithik remain as a Voice for Women India? Let’s wait and watch!