As much as Vidya Balan advocates that women must raise their voice against violation of their rights and personal space, she hates it when an incident is blown out of proportion just to catch everyone’s attention. During her recent visit to Kolkata — to promote her upcoming film, Begum Jaan — Vidya objected to a male fan placing his arm around her without her consent as he leaned in for a selfie. “It was not molestation,” retorts the actor, disapproving of how it was reported by some sections of the media.
“I think words like feminism, molestation and sexual harassment are used loosely, and that’s upsetting. Someone behaved inappropriately (with me), he touched my back when he was taking a selfie and I objected to it. That’s what it is. But to grab headlines, to say that I was molested is incorrect!” Vidya — known for power-packed performances in films such as Ishqiya (2010) and Kahaani (2012) — told Hindustan Times during her recent visit to Delhi.
The 38-year-old actor admits that she doesn’t pay heed to such news items, but it makes her friends and family unhappy. “I don’t read the papers or watch TV, so someone brought it to my notice, asking: ‘Did you get molested?’ And I felt, for God’s sake let’s get some fundas clear! Yes, I thought he [the fan] was behaving inappropriately, and I said [to him]: ‘It’s wrong, don’t try and act smart! I didn’t let him take that selfie and that’s okay. We have to open our mouth when we don’t like something,” added Vidya, who advises all women to speak up if they’re made to feel uncomfortable.
“You have a voice, use it! [Yes] it’s difficult, there are repercussions, there are opinions that can probably damage your confidence, your self-esteem sometimes, but it doesn’t matter. It’s high time we use our voices.”
Meanwhile, in another interview, Vidya — who’s married to producer Siddharth Roy Kapur — made a strong statement that she’s not a “baby-making machine” and that it’s unfair for people to intrude her personal space and link her visit to the doctor with pregnancy. She expressed her dissent over the obsession of people with a married couple having babies. As for rumours about her being pregnant, Vidya said it doesn’t matter if some people don’t have children.
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