Mumbai: Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who objected to Swara Bhasker’s indictment of what she saw as an endorsement of the practice of Jauhar in Padmaavat, says he felt the actress’ intent of the open letter wasn’t right.
After Swara penned an open letter on Padmaavat, saying she felt reduced to a “vagina only” after watching the epic drama, Agnihotri, among many others questioned her on “fake feminism” with a strong tweet, which was deemed “low and sick” by Swara.
Defending his stance, Agnihotri said: “If they (pseudo-feminists) like to twist it out of context, it’s her choice. People know what I have said. Any sincere socially committed person understands who is honest and who is only creating a sensation. Ask any random people on the street and you will know who is saying what.
“I felt that Swara’s intent wasn’t correct. The intent wasn’t to help the cause of women but to use this opportunity for self-gain.”
In his tweet, Agnihotri had said: “We have interviewed many ‘ex-naxal’ women in Bastar. Each has gut-wrenching stories to tell, full of abuse, rape and misogyny. If they marry, they aren’t allowed to have children. I think fake feminist Swara must make a trip to understand how the ‘real vagina feels like.”
Swara reacted by saying: “I’m sorry did you just suggest that I go get myself raped??? Like seriously? You typed out this tweet Vivek? I’d say pretty low and sick even by your own abysmal standards of conduct and civility.”
Agnihotri then responded: “Why is it that whenever we talk about empathy and understanding, fake feminists like Swara can only think of rape? You can say whatever you want, they end up translating it only with their sexually perverted dictionary.”
The Buddha in a Traffic Jam director also said he is troubled by the way empowered women look at the sexual politics of un-empowered women.
“I have been working with lots of tribals women in Bastar and also in my village in Uttar Pradesh. In India, the un-empowered woman is fighting not by provoking men or abusing them. She is using her ‘shakti’ (strength) to empower herself.”
He believes the extensive usage of “vagina” in Swara’s letter has offended many.
“I think unnecessarily provoking with ‘one particular word’ by Swara has reduced the most critical war to just social media gossip. Such language on a social platform pisses off people and the war of women empowerment can never be won by hurting others. You have to have empathy.”