Do you worry about the projection of women in Hindi cinema?
Undoubtedly, popular films have a huge impact. We legitimise the harassing of women with the way our heroes woo heroines; when a woman says no, the man wears down her resistance. I also resent the idea of the good Indian girl perpetuated in our movies. Anyone who is not a good girl is a hooker and that has a direct correlation with the rising state of crimes against women. As filmmakers, it is our responsibility to not put out this nonsense about women in a society, which is anyway struggling to understand the new Indian woman.
You reject the tag of woman filmmakers, but do you consider yourself a feminist?
I am a spoilt second or third-generation feminist. The earlier generation worked hard and their efforts made it easy for us. So, I can take it forward and say I’m a humanist. I am concerned about the unfair issues that affect both men and women. A great part of being a humanist is being a feminist.
If you were to offer one idea to change filmmaking, what would it be?
There was a time when it was accepted that to be a successful filmmaker, you have to make bad cinema, and if you make a good film, it won’t work. That is breaking down now. We need more focus on scripts and that can only happen if we give writers their due. We are still functioning in a way that anyone with the potential to be a good scriptwriter would stay away, and that needs to change.
Sunaina Kumar is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.