India Today

Role Reversal: Bollywood mirrors women dominance in urban India!

A role-reversal is slowly sneaking into our household breaking the ‘home-hearth’ stereotype of women. Even the Bollywood currently started spinning women-centric stories – such as Begum Jaan, Hichki, Mom, Tumhari Sulu, Mardani and Simran, says Jawed Khurshid


See, papa is changing nappies; squeals a six year old Rohit Saxena with disbelief, whose dad mingle with household chores as easily as salt dissolves in water. His mother is working with a call center, a high wattage job that demands working at odd hours. Daddy dearest runs a chemist shop, just outside his house and thus remain accessible 24X7.


Mumbai, like other metros in India, is witnessing change not only in its gender profile but also its unique expression since past few years. Globalization has literally forced women out from their traditional ‘home-n-hearth’ closets.


A role reversal is slowly sneaking into our household. Many believe that moms should not step into dad’s shoes. The traditional image of moms attending to kids’ daily chores gets a beating these days. Now, the sight of a dad changing diapers and peeling off potatoes won’t make a big surprise.


Women have stepped into arenas which were earlier exclusively the male-dominated areas, such as defense forces, drivers, waitress, CEOs in business establishments, etc. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and a few chief ministers – late Jaya Lalitha, former CM of Tamil Nadu, Kumari Mayawati, former CM of UP and currently WB CM - didi aka Mamata Banerjee – shows politics is more promising on this count.  


Salma Haidar, who works in an NGO says, “Currently, the economic imperatives shape family construct. Earlier in our community the women were seldom allowed to peek out, leave alone attending offices for work. Now the situation has diametrically changed. Today they even work in shifts, as you find in news channels, call centers and many more similar workstations.”


‘Hard times require tough decision,’ pontificates a media executive Manuel Fernandez, who believes this reflect gradual empowerment of women. ‘There are many examples of such reversals of roles, particularly in a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai,’ he says.


Out rightly rejecting the contention that it’s the outcome of Western impact, he says, ‘this is wrong to say we have embraced Western culture. In our Indian traditions where women fought valiantly to defend her nation, had to leave her offspring back at home.’


Bollywood spins hundreds of movies every year. It’s considered to be a mirror that reflects changing perceptions in the society.  Begum Jaan, Hichki, Mom, Tumhari Sulu, Mardani and Simran are a few movies that portray women in dominating roles. In Mom – late Sridevi dons an aggressive and intrepid fighter’s attire which was earlier seen to be worn by male protagonists.    






Tags : Mamata Banerji Jayalalitha Mayawati Sridevi