I haven’t seen many movies of Kangana and that’s because my time schedule makes me an infrequent viewer of movies in general, and so I see her case objectively. I am surprised that she is severely criticised by many empowered women on social media. One criticism by a prominent Indian singer has stated that she has done disservice to feminism. Disservice? All I can see and as clear as crystal is that she has done a great service to both men and women by bringing out the vice called nepotism that affects not only the film industry but many other working sectors of our society. Today newcomers will have more opportunities open to them because someone of Kangana’s stature has brought this out in the open. This will nettle many a filmmaker’s conscience and say, ‘hey she is right I must be fair to the newbies too.’ Maybe unknowingly nepotism could also be an unconscious act. If for a change we give the benefit of doubt, and surmise that many genuine personalities of the film industry might have ‘unconsciously’ contributed to it, but now due to this awareness against it, many will think twice and be more conscious while scouting talent. The casting process will have the probability to be more authentic and fair towards one and all.
Another critical post I saw on facebook was from another empowered woman (this is author Sreemoyee Piu Kundu’s post on Kangana where I couldn’t comment due to the privacy settings there) which is that Kangana had sought out Zareena Wahab’s help. The author vociferously criticised her for having an affair with a married man in the first place, so why should she seek help, she questioned. But for a moment do look at it from her perspective. She is a young girl at a vulnerable age, alone in a big city like Mumbai, so whom can she turn to? They were the only people she knew then, so what is the harm in seeking a woman’s help. In the infamous Pooja Bedi-Aditya Pancholi case when Aditya Pancholi abused her 15 year old maid, Pooja Bedi valiantly took her maid’s side and didn’t cover up her ex-boyfriends misdeeds. That is what is called female empowerment. But here Kangana is being criticised for seeking help from Wahab because she is having an affair with a married man. Come on who are we to point fingers and that too only at a woman? Don’t we know better? It takes two hands to clap, so how can we single out only the womenfolk when it comes to an extra-marital affair. And who are we to judge other people’s feeling and emotions? Her having an affair is her ‘personal’ choice but to use one’s money and power to malign somebody’s career and image is morally so wrong and just not done. And Kangana has been bold to speak up and not take things lying down. She could have taken the coward’s way out as that’s how ninety five percent people operate in today’s world and take the recourse to keep quiet. That would have been a better option, a better PR, as then she could be in good terms with the whole film fraternity and landed with more movie deals. That is where her PR plan would have effectively worked out. But no, she opts to speak out here. So where is the PR that some seem to see here? And this also is a huge lesson for all of us. And that is we need to depend on our own positivity, confidence and willpower to make things happen. We have the power to create our own destiny and that too without the necessity of grovelling to other people’s misdeeds. She has shown women courage to be themselves. I truly applaud her as it takes guts to do this – to stand on our own and not needing a godfather or a famous family to make it in the film industry.
Fighting her case with her own hard earned money and not having a wealthy legacy must have cost her the earth but she hasn’t backed out. Bringing out the woman commissioner’s stand on her case has brought out the true face of this office. She has rightly said that if she being an independent and successful woman faces this kind of unfairness from an office for woman’s empowerment then what will the common women do? But now because she spoke out, for a common woman who approaches this office, there will be hopefully transparency and accountability on each and every woman’s case handled. She has brought a great service to common women like us. These men have affairs and cover up by slapping false cases and ruining careers. If she brings it out till she finds closure then there is nothing wrong in it, whatever time it takes. And the pain she has faced by going through this can’t be measured even in years. So why are we women harping about being bored to death about hearing this. Till we haven’t gone through the pain, we haven’t faced the agony of it, and hence it is easy to point fingers isn’t it? It’s easy to demean a painful battle of a strong woman from the comfort of our living rooms saying that we are bored of hearing it over and over again.
We must take a leaf out of Pooja Bedi’s book here who so rightly said (regarding Aditya Pancholi’s maid abuse case), “I was happy to move on after I dumped Aditya when my maid had made similar allegations but there are some women who will accept it as a mistake, reconcile and forget about it.”