Ekta Kapoor: I thought Lipstick Under My Burkha will be boring when I heard about it
New Delhi: Having produced several television shows focused on women, Ekta Kapoor believes informing people about the issues in Indian society through the entertainment mediums works better them educating them about it.
"I personally think education is one and infotainment is the other [aspect]. If you educate people, they get bored. If you go out there and show them films, which are entertaining and then they like the characters and start relating to the story because of the characters, you land up doing a lot more to change mindsets than ever," Ekta told IANS in an interview.
Producer of hit TV shows like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Kumkum Bhagya and Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, she also said that a film or a TV show "can't empower" but rather enlightens people.
"It can enlighten (viewers) about the wars that women are fighting. Empowerment comes from within. It comes from each one of us taking a stand against the various biases that we face and then saying no to it. The time has come when we should enlighten our viewers by showing films like Lipstick Under My Burkha," she said.
Ekta is taking forward her pursuit of producing "bold and inspiring" tales about women by backing the forthcoming film Lipstick Under My Burkha, which has gone through various hurdles because of the Central Board of Film Certification's (CBFC) objections that it was too "lady oriented".
"When I heard about the film, I was pretty sure that it'll be something boring. But when I saw the film, I thought it's an entertaining and empowering film. It's very, very strong," Ekta said.
Directed by Alankrita Srivastava, the film, featuring Konkana Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur, revolves around four women and their sexual desires and freedom.
Such conversations must be prevalent in society, Ekta said. "We don't talk about things that exist in women's lives. We have been told for years to brush things under the carpet. We have been told for years that things that belong to us -- like our own bodies -- are not meant for pleasure, they are only meant for reproduction," she said.
She said women are told that sacrifice should be in her DNA, her own choices should come last: family should be a priority not the women. "Until you start talking about what a woman goes through internally, you just see her fitting into the space that society has chosen for her. That's why stories like these need to be told," she added.
Lipstick Under My Burkha has now been cleared for a theatrical release in India on July 21 by Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).
"Lipstick Under My Burkha is the only film that I have seen in recent times which talks about women after the age of 50. Censorship is very big issue, but at the same time let's not forget the film and talk about that," Ekta said.
"I have huge respect for Nihalani (CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani) and I'm sure he has a thought process behind what he is doing. I have huge respect for the censor board and I am not contesting what they are doing," she said.
She said FCAT had asked them to do some minor cuts. "These were very, very minor cuts and no scene was removed. We are looking to present the film in 400-500 screens," she added.
Asked how she thinks women are going to receive Lipstick Under My Burkha, Ekta Kapoor said: "With open arms," adding "India is so ready to accept the new Indian women that they will have no problems."