What happens when Amitabh Bachchan speaks extensively on gender sensitisation? He gets asked about the portrayal of women in his own films. After he spoke at the Penguin Annual Lecture in the Capital on Friday, an audience member asked the actor if he approved of the way women were portrayed in his films.
To this, media personality Rajdeep Sardesai, who was moderating the session post the lecture, quoted a magazine as saying, “Jumma Chumma, a song from his film Hum (1991), was the closest cinema had come to almost sanctioning the idea of a potential gangrape”, and asked Bachchan if cinema should imbibe some of the values he spoke of, when it comes to Indian women.
Bachchan replied, “I am certain that recent events and social uprising to those events has given way to a thought process amongst society in general, that is looking at each aspect of what is happening, morally, socially, with a microscope. But everything isn’t as bad as it is being portrayed and I feel maybe there are moments when a lot more is looked into than is actually true. I’m very happy there are questions. I am very happy to be put in a spot and asked why this is happening and I am very happy to make amends,” he said.
However, the 71-year-old added, “In all our films we have always propagated poetic justice in three hours. No one that has dealt in an oppressive manner with any woman is allowed to go free. But unless you show the crime, how are you going to really punish him? Perhaps, that is what has happened,” he said. When asked if he would do Jumma Chumma again, he answered, “You must be joking. They are never going to ask me to do Jumma Chumma!”