The powerhouse that lit up the blockbusters Queen and Tanu Weds Manu Kangana Ranaut, shook Bollywood and our patriarchal thought process together with a smile, in a compelling interview with Barkha Dutt on NDTV. Up till now, she was known for being the face of female centric movies in India, but after the interview- she can easily be crowned the face of feminism and revival of female power in Bollywood. She surprised Indian media as she spoke with no denials, no fake tears, no coyness, just blunt words that prove her strength and fearlessness as a person. Along with her third win at the National Film Awards, she is someone to be applauded.
Describing Hrithik Roshan as her “silly ex”, she imposed that her decisions, relationships and rumors don’t affect her. “I am not ashamed of anything, not my past, not my affairs, not my body and most definitely not my desire. So ‘slut-shaming’ won’t work either,” she says, calling out to recent statements and media reports about her. She boldly dismisses patriarchy with a grin, saying, “These are 1000-year old weapons still used against women when they are jealous of a woman’s success…if she’s crazily successful, she becomes a psychopath, and if a woman is sexually active, she becomes a whore. It doesn’t upset me.”
A strong woman, according to her, is someone who is the first to be looked down upon, in fear and insecurity of her power. Describing this chauvinistic mentality, she calls out, “The mentality is the same. If I can’t get you, I might just destroy you.” This was a direct jab at her jaded lovers, in lieu of the legal battles with Roshan, and her ex Adyayan Suman’s comments to the media.
Her frank ‘tell-it-all’ and ‘bare-it-all’ attitude in interviews has stirred a wave of controversy, and it has gained respect from many. For now, intelligible feminist thinkers love her style, and agree with conviction she is someone that her recent contemporaries should learn from. She is the spirit of the new Indian woman, awoken and aware, as represented by the last line she said with a laugh, “Success is the best revenge. I always feel women should answer back either with their sarcasm or success.”