Viral video: Watch Mallika Sherawat takedown a journalist
By now Mallika Sherawat's interview with Vanity Fair is quite famous and rather infamous to everyone in India. Some have mocked her for her fake accent, others have pointed out that Mallika's facts like that she was the first woman in India to wear a bikini on screen weren't really true.
Most importantly however, some were very angry with her for daring to calling 'India a regressive society' and 'where women are the bottom of the society.' Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra slammed Mallika Sherawat, saying "When it comes to Mallika's statements, I think they were very callous and I don't agree with her. It was upsetting for me as a woman. It was upsetting for me as a girl who comes from India. I think it was extreme misrepresentation of our nation. I don't think it's fair."
Clearly the pain is still living on in the hearts of some. A recent video, which has gone viral online, shows a female journalist challenging Mallika rather angrily on the point. The interaction took place during a promotional event for Mallika's latest show The Bachelorette India. (You can watch the video above.)
The reporter, begins in a rather aggressive tone and asks Mallika, "You called India regressive and depressing. So I want to ask you why would you want to come back to this country and find true love?" Obviously the reporter feels that once you call India or Indian society regressive, you can't come back looking for love here. Never mind that Mallika has a choice to do what she wants.
The two first waste some time on debating whether Mallika said India or Indian society in the original interview, which really is a moot point in this debate. "I think you need to do your homework, well, because I said Indian society is regressive for women." The woman, then asks, again with a hostile tone, possibly the lamest question ever, "Why do you think Indian society is regressive for women?"
Mallika goes on to talk about everything that's wrong with Indian society and its treatment women and she goes a great job of it. "From female foeticide, infanticide numbers taking on a daily basis, gang rapes making the headlines, honour killing. Today I read in the paper, according to UNFPA, 40 percent of Indian women, are married below the age of 18. I think it's a very, very regressive state for women and I stand by it," says Mallika, supporting her argument with some solid numbers.
Clearly the reporter is in no mood to back down and she continues to badger Mallika on her right to be in India, and then digs herself in even deeper: "I understand what you're saying is the truth, Mallika, about women. But when you go on an international platform and say India is regressive for women, then it confirms what they (outsiders) already think of India. They have this image of India not having buildings, there are crowds, having bastis. But things have changed, we also have education."
It sounds like incoherent gibberish, but Mallika responds by calling her bigger bluff:
"I'm not going to lie. I'm not going join this hypocrisy that is there in our society. There are rapes, honour killings in India. Are you saying that if somebody asks me question on that, I should say no. Main jhoot boloo?. (Should I lie?).
Mallika continues, pointing out, "Haryana main female foeticide kitna hai pata hai? 700 women to 1000 men. Bache ko kok main hi mar dete hain. Aur is desh main hum devi ki puja karte hai," (Do you know how much female foeticide is there in Haryana. We kill the child in the womb itself and then pray to the goddess).
"Then, this press attacks me and says that I spoiled India's name," she adds. "If women don't talk about the issues that plague us, then who will."
Mallika Sherawat, despite her fake accent and bizarre PR stunts, should be congratulated for stating an inconvenient truth about the state of Indian women. It would be so much easier to sing the 'mera Bharat mahaan' mantra like Piggy Chops. She hits all the right points: From hypocrisy in India society when it comes to the status of women to female foeticide numbers to violence that women face.
And if you're still angry about the 'India is regressive' remark, you only look need look at the current scandals - where even supreme court judges, senior lawyers, editor-in-chiefs have all been accused of sexually harassing women - to know that Mallika got it exactly right.
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Updated Date: Nov 28, 2013 12:56:08 IST