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Portrayal of women in Indian cinema must evolve further  



By Madhu Mishra

Cinema has been one of the most popular means of entertainment for centuries. Besides entertainment, cinema is used as an effective educational tool. In fact, various kinds of films leave different impacts on individuals. For instance, a young fan may be highly inspired by a celebrity or may get influenced by their dialogues in the movie. 

However, there is one more aspect attached to Indian films.:The portrayal of women in films. Indian society is highly driven by a patriarchal mindset. In most societies men are still considered as a breadwinner and decision-maker in the family, while women are meant to make sacrifices only to take care of the family. They have been fighting for their privileges, but instead of being treated as equals, women are victims to gender oppression. And if they take a step against this pre-decided notion, they are accused by the society. Cinema has been projecting this societal mindset.  In fact, in a  lot of movies women characters have been objectified.

They are given roles of a helpless girl who is being eve-teased or  molested and a superhuman hero coming to rescue her.

However, this is now changing with women playing the protagonist on the screen. Like the recently launched movie, Rashmi Rocket in which Taapsee Pannu was playing the lead role. Another movie is Lajja, which primarily focuses on the issues that arise due to gender inequality and affects all women.

This also drives me to ask: what role can we play as an audience in bringing a change?

The first thing is what kind of movies are we watching and encouraging. I feel more and more movies need to be produced or created which portrays women empowerment and women as a hero. Movies showcasing gender-biases must be critically reviewed before releasing them on the big screen. I refrain from watching movies that project women negatively. It’s important that our directors or producers show the audience movies that add a positive difference to the society and change the patriarchal mindset of many in the society.

Society’s perception about women should change, and by making positive efforts, cinema has the power to bring a dynamic change.