Being tough is not 'manly' for Preity Zinta
Actress Preity Zinta would not like to be a man.
For Zinta, who has been portrayed as a woman of free will in many of her Bollywood films, being resilient in everyday life is important but not at the risk of losing her feminine identity.
"I don't think it is very womanly to be so tough that you start competing with the man and start behaving like a man," the actress said at an event marking International Women's Day in New Delhi on Saturday.
"I like to be strong, I like to be tough but I would never like to be a man."
Zinta said March 8 is a day when the woman becomes the focus worldwide.
"I am not really the burning bra kind of a feminist chick but I do strongly believe I do have the strength within me to stand behind what I believe in."
In most parts of India, sons are viewed as breadwinners who will look after their parents and carry on the family name, but daughters are viewed as financial liabilities for whom they will have to pay substantial dowries to get married off.
Zinta said a woman needs to work harder than a man to prove her worth and can be truly empowered only if she believed in herself.
"It's more difficult being a woman because you are balancing family and professional lives. It's a difficult balance."
Zinta, who made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's Dil Se in 1998 and later starred in several mushy romances, is also taking up the challenge of starring in arthouse films.
Three of Zinta's four films slated for release in 2008 are arthouse projects -- Jahnu Barua's Har Pall, Deepa Mehta's Heaven on Earth and Rituparno Ghosh's The Last Lear.
The only exception is Heroes, a film in which she stars opposite Salman Khan.