Feminism is about negotiating for equal opportunities: Shabana Azmi

Azmi expressed her views at a panel discussion on Indian feminism, on the third and concluding day of the Lucknow Literature Festival organised by the Lucknow Expressions Society, at Indira Gandhi Pratisthan, Lucknow.

lucknow Updated: Nov 20, 2017 13:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Feminism,Equal opportunities,Lucknow
Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar at the literature fest in Lucknow.(HT Photo)

For actor Shabana Azmi, feminism is about negotiating for equal opportunities and privileges. Calling feminism a way of thinking, the actor said it was not meant to throw men out of the system.

Azmi expressed these views at a panel discussion on Indian feminism, on the third and concluding day of the Lucknow Literature Festival organised by the Lucknow Expressions Society, at Indira Gandhi Pratisthan in Lucknow on Sunday.

Ruing the fact that despite women holding several top positions in the country, female foeticide continued to be a harsh reality in India, she said, “Women have always been victims of systematic discrimination.” She said that while there was no dearth of laws to protect the fair sex, their improper implementation led to women still being victimised in the society.

Speaking on the issue of triple talaq, the actor called the practice a “complete injustice”. She went on to say that personal laws of all religions discriminated against women.

On popular demand, Azmi also recited a ‘nazm’ (Urdu poetry) penned by her father Kaifi Azmi, which emphasised the importance of both men and women in the society.

The actor also batted for women’s reservation in the Parliament.

However, some other speakers rejected the idea of reservation. Senior advocate Bulbul Godiyal, who is also Bahujan Samaj Party’s mayoral candidate in Lucknow, said, “Reservation has done more harm than good. But if at all reservation is necessary, then women should get 50% reservation and nothing less than that.”She, however, clarified that it was her personal view and should not be linked with the party’s stand on the issue.

Maj Gen Vibha Dutta also stressed on the need for equal rights for both the genders, and said that feminism was “not entirely against men”. Historian Upinder Singh also shared her views on the subject.

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 13:35 IST