On the eve of International Women’s Day, Bollywood actresses Neena Gupta and Madhuri Dixit shared their thoughts on the changing landscape of Indian content with regards to female artistes and how this change could bring about a more inclusive space.
Commenting on the occasion, Neena Gupta opined that the evolution of entertainment space has been in perfect sync with the changing society, “The entertainment space has evolved, alongside our evolution as a society. As women become breadwinners, led businesses & teams, and became a central figure in every aspect of life, the roles that were offered to me became central to the story. In today’s scripts, roles for women are not dependent on a man, rather stand on their own.”
Speaking on the sidelines of streaming platform Netflix’s women’s day programme ‘Stree-ming’, she further said, “I love that every day I get to see more stories that reflect the lives of incredible women – portraying all their layers, shades, and flaws. It’s safe to say there’s no going back. We are not just a part of the story, but we are the story.”
Adding onto it, she said as to how a lot of change in Indian content has come from women who hold the fort behind the camera to craft compelling narratives, “More women writers, directors, producers have also acted as a powerful driving force behind this change. Behind the screen, inclusivity is critical not only in amplifying voices that are not always heard, but also because it creates opportunities for stories that might not otherwise have been told.”
Indian content has undergone a sea change in the past few decades where now women are not hired in films or audio – visual content purely based on pretty faces. Instead, its their ability to put up powerful performances that sets the roadmap ahead for a more just society one frame at a time.
Voicing her opinion on the subject, Madhuri Dixit said, “There has been an evolution, and the evolution has been tremendous. Women are no longer just pretty faces or avenging angels. Today women are viewed as whole people, playing different characters from different professions – whether it’s a mathematician or a sportswoman or a housewife with unfulfilled aspirations, women are taking on different roles every day and it’s fascinating to see this change in the industry.”