Time has indeed changed for Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut. There was a time when she was mocked for her poor English speaking skills in Bollywood. Now, she says she never lost confidence in herself due to that. Speaking at the Women in the World Summit in London, Kangana said she encountered obstacles everywhere - be it her family or Bollywood.
Kangana said she would get a lot of bashing for it but admitted “Bollywood films do objectify women, not all of them but some of them do.” When asked what should be done for Bollywood to take actresses seriously, Kangana said women should not seek that approval. “I don’t think we need anyone’s approval for what we do... It’s a lot more important for women to accept themselves as opposed to others’ approval of them. Others’ opinion will always shift, their perspective will change.
“When I started out, they dismissed me like a nobody but today I am who I am because my understanding of myself never changed. As women we shouldn’t hope to get our due. We need to get up and get it ourselves.”
Kangana said in India girl child is treated as a “liability” and when she saw her father expecting more from her brothers, she wanted to be that person and rebelled. Landing in Bollywood without any support and making it big here was not a fairytale journey for the actress.
“It was quite harsh. I couldn’t speak a word of English. In England, people might be understanding of that, but in Bombay if you don’t speak English, people would ask ‘How does she expect to work in Hindi films?’
Ranaut said it is still difficult to be a woman in India as not much has changed. “We need to work a lot on this. We need more role models, which young women can follow, their parents can follow. They should get inspired with their stories and journeys.”
The 28-year-old actor believes most of the problems related to women stems from the fact that “feminine” and “compassion” are treated as inferior qualities. “Why single out India, that’s a problem everywhere. Feminine as an emotion, which would be compassion and kindness, is seen as a weakness... We need to change that mentality. We need to respect feminine as an emotion and not crush it but to love and value it.”
“History is witness that in past if anything could conquer the darkest and deepest corners of the human soul, it has always been feminine. They offer the only way to penetrate the darkness — not anger or aggressive masculine emotions.”