Film writer Juhi Chaturvedi opens up about gender discrimination, says it was never meant to be men versus women
National Award-winning Bollywood screen writer Juhi Chaturvedi says addressing issues of discrimination faced by women in Bollywood was never meant to be against men.
“It was never meant to be men versus women. We are having a fight which was never meant to be. I just hope for a day when I would be able to tell my daughter to become an actress saying there are great people out there,” Chaturvedi said at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet 2019 on Thursday.Juhi, who won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay for Piku, feels one should not really stress on ‘women role models’ and everyone should be known for their work.
“The sanctity of work might just get diluted,” said the writer known for her path-breaking work in Vicky Donor. Speaking about issues women face in the industry, she said that many times men seem to be “unprepared to discuss things or don’t think it is important enough to include a women’s opinion”.
Women would have to manage their time as they might have to leave for home at seven and that’s the time when the evening starts for many. “You just have to take a call, if it is really important for the person to involve you, he will keep the meeting at 11 a.m. the next day. If not, then that’s not the project, you would like to be a part of,” said the woman who had collaborated with filmmaker Shoojit Sircar many times.
Asked about the MeToo issue and reason it was dying out, Chaturvedi said: “I think it is about time such issues make it to the front page of the national dailies, and not just gossip section. The conversations are dying down as the decision making bodies haven’t taken it seriously.”
She said things need to change from the school level and at home concepts like man being the head of the family, ‘kanya daan’ (daughter given in marriage) need to change. A person’s character, mindset, everything is out there. Women just need to interpret it seeing their work she said.
About women breaking the glass ceiling, Chaturvedi said: “Let’s not break things, let’s just create things”.
Speaking about her transition from an art director to a writer, she said: “You don’t realise that you are like a bin where things keep accumulating. You think you have moved on, but there is a parallel life going on which is just dying to get attention from you.” The only way she could vent out these feeling was through writing.
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