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Vidya Balan says easy for older actresses to work in Bollywood now

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Mumbai: Leading actor Vidya Balan thinks that times have changed now and today’s audience is much more willing to accept older actresses in films than the past. She said people want to see different stages of life than just the allure of youth.

The National Award-winning actress said, “things are no longer same for 30-plus actresses now as all kinds of films are being made depicting different stages of life.”

 “I think audiences are very ready,” Vidya said when asked about the changes that she has noticed regarding 30-plus actresses in Bollywood.
“There were times when there were only love stories and however, old the male actor is, the actresses were becoming younger and younger but that’s no longer the case now. People are accepting women at every stage. We are accepting that they can be interesting and desirable even when they are in their 30s.”
“So I feel acceptability has really increased for actresses,” added the 37-year-old.

Having made her cinematic debut in 2005 with “Parineeta”, an adaptation of a 1914 eponymous Bengali novel, Vidya has proved her versatility with many of her roles. Whether it was the manipulative Krishna of “Ishqiya”; the strong-willed Sabrina in “No One Killed Jessica”; Vidya Bagchi, a woman with a vengeance in “Kahaani”; an unwed mother in “Paa”; and the bolder than the boldest Silk in “The Dirty Picture”, she impressed audiences and critics alike with her acting.

Her last released film was Mohit Suri’s “Hamari Adhuri Kahani” in which she played a married woman, also a victim of domestic violence.

Married to producer Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vidya also feels that marriage is no longer a hindrance in getting film offers.

“If I talk about my experience as an actor, then by God’s grace lots of work are coming my way. There is no dearth of work. Things are changing for married actresses in Bollywood. Even I used to think that once you get married, you get lesser number of films, but that’s not true. I have been getting a lot of exciting roles in the past three years since the time I got married,” said Vidya.

The actress will next be seen in Sujoy Ghosh-produced “TE3N” and Sujoy Ghosh’s “Kahaani” sequel.

But it’s not just films that Vidya is engaged with. She is equally voicing her opinion on women’s rights as a brand ambassador of hair care brand Nihar Naturals. She has joined hands with the brand to encourage women in overcoming stereotypical judgments to achieve their capabilities.

This time, Nihar took upon the task of making Indian women realise that, “Appearance cannot be a tool to judge a woman’s capability”. In order to sensitise women about their inner capability through a powerful medium that would immediately resonate with them, Nihar Naturals launched the #IAmCapable report, a national study commissioned to Nielsen.

Talking about this, she said: “Change won’t happen overnight but over time.”

She also remembered the time when she judged for choosing sari as her favourite outfit for almost all her public appearances.

“I was judged on the basis of my appearance. I remember the time when I started wearing saris; I was told that young actresses should not wear saris. Also, media started putting me on trials then I realised that across the country there are all kinds of people; so I stopped thinking about the negative things and now it doesn’t bother me anymore,” she said.

She also suggested that young girls should not get affected by criticism.

“I feel that nowadays we are very unkind to ourselves and that is something we need to change. We tend to bracket things according to clothes, but I think we need to be more relaxed in terms of approach,” she added.(IANS)(image-bollyspice)

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Jaipur Literature Festival Takes A Questionable Stand On The #MeToo Movement

JLF's fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned.

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The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

After several star speakers of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival, including C.P. Surendran, Suhel Seth and Chetan Bhagat, among others, have been accused of sexually harassing multiple women, on the sidelines of the popular lit fest, the organisers, in a cautiously worded one-sentence tweet on Thursday, have supported the rising tide of the #MeToo campaign in India — but questions still remain.

“The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival unequivocally stands by the women who have courageously spoken out for equity and dignity and is committed to supporting and amplifying their voices,” the official handle of the JLF said in a tweet on Thursday.

The statement came two days after a petition was started on www.change.org by writer-editor Rajni George, asking its organisers to support the #MeToo India and stand up “against sexual harassment”.

#MeToo
Jaipur Literature Festival

“We write today regarding the serious and credible allegations of sexual harassment made recently against a number of men in and around the literary world, as part of the MeToo movement in India.

“We, the undersigned, are dismayed, saddened and angered by these accounts. We admire the work that the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) undertakes. As India’s largest and most recognised literature festival, we believe JLF is ideally placed to take the lead in addressing this urgent issue,” George’s petition said.

JLF’s response in the one-line tweet is general, and does not specifically mention whether any of the allegations that have now surfaced were earlier brought to the notice of the organisers.

It also does not make it clear whether the doors of the festival will remain closed for the accused in its future editions, or not. It further makes no comment whatsoever on several instances that are said to have taken place on the sidelines of the annual event.

#MeToo
Sanjoy K. Roy, with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore.

Notably, many of the accused have featured in prominent sessions at what is described as the “greatest literary show on Earth”, and, in many instances, the festival has been instrumental in increasing their popularity as well as readership.

On its part, JLF, produced by Teamwork Arts, headed by Sanjoy K. Roy, and with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore. In fact, the 2018 edition of the festival in January this year had come to a close with a hard-hitting debate on #MeToo, long before the campaign gained momentum in India.

Also Read: Watch Jaipur Literature Festival Live On Twitter

Many in the literary circles feel the benchmark that JLF has itself set over the course of its journey, its coming of age and gradual but distinct shift from controversies to substance in the recent years, its fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned. (IANS)