In 2013, Mallika Sherawat’s interview with an international magazine stirred a nationwide controversy when she said “So when I enjoy the social freedom in America and go back to India, which is so regressive for women, it’s depressing. As an independent woman, it’s really depressing.” And, now her old video where she effectively shut up a journalist who criticized her for calling “India a regressive country for women” has gone viral.
In the video, while addressing the journalists who criticized her statements on “India being a regressive country,” she said, ”Do you know the number of female feticide in Haryana? 1000 men to 700 women! In the country, goddesses are worshipped but female fetuses are killed in the womb! And, then the media comes after me that I’ve portrayed India in a negative light! By what? By telling the truth?”
Post this, a female journalist asked her a question about her statement that “India is regressive and depressing” To which Mallika told her, “I think you need to do your homework well.” This was just the beginning, after this Mallika tore into the journalist. She said, “I said Indian society is regressive for women, see the interview again.”
When the journalist shot back asking, “Why do you think Indian society is regressive for women?” Mallika quoted facts while replying to the journalist and added, “With gang rapes making the headlines of every newspaper…Today I read in the newspaper, according to UNFPA, 40 percent of Indian women are married below the age of 18, I think it is a very very regressive state for women. And I stand by it.“
When the journalist fought back saying that her statements focussing on the state of women were giving India a bad name, Mallika said, “So, as a woman, I should lie about the state of women that’s in our country? I didn’t lie. I won’t lie. I said the truth.”
After the video went viral, many people came forward to applaud Malika for her stand on female issues. From calling her smart, bold, and gusty to calling her better than Alia & Kareena, here’s what people have to say about her:
One user wrote, “2013?!!! Almost 10 years later and people still don’t have the guts to say what she said!” Another user mentioned, “Mallika is actually so well spoken.. her interviews are gems and she was such a good comedic actress.. just sad how Bollywood never knew what to do with her after a certain point.”
Someone wrote, “I love that she doubled down because she knows she’s right when even in this day and age celebs don’t want to associate with women’s rights and we have sara talking about brown face and Chitrangada not wanting to associate with feminism and both Kareena and Alia being blank when it comes to feminism while actively being a part of female led films.”
Another user mentioned, “Mallika is a very smart, bold, gutsy woman who always stood up for the truth. There is no equivalent to her in Bollywood…”“It’s funny how the personality of celebrities such as Malika and Sunny is often reduced to their on-screen bold portrayal, while, on the contrary, these celebrities are among the most well-spoken ones out there.”, wrote another user. Someone wrote, “Kudos to mallika for saying this out loud… when we literally have actresses shying away from even the term feminism.”
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