Mumbai, Writer-director Vinta Nanda, who created a stir in the #MeToo movement in India last year when she accused actor Alok Nath of rape, says it’s now time to see the change and experience it as far as women in the business of entertainment are concerned.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. Vinta, the world recently celebrated Women’s Day. Your thoughts on the status and safety of women?
A. We’ve come to a place where everything that needed to be said has been said. Now it’s time for action. Time for us to see the change and experience it. A time when women can walk free in the day as well as at night in places far and wide, without any fear.
Q. What about women still not gathering courage to take legal action against their harassers?
A. The system needs to reboot itself and recalibrate itself to the times we live in today.
Q. What do you think of the emergence of the female voices like Zoya Akhtar and Ashwini Iyer Tiwari in Hindi cinema?
A. Big leaps for women in the film business for sure. Also Meghna Gulzar, Farah Khan and all other women filmmakers, of features, documentaries and TV shows. However, we still have a very long way to go yet.
Q. Absolutely. Don’t you think the time is right for you to direct again?
A. I should of course. I’m working on a project. Will let you know in a couple of months.
Q. Are you satisfied with the safety measures for women workers in the film industry?
A. The systems are in place. It’s a massive change. POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) committees and Internal Complaints Committees are in all associations and production offices, I believe. This should now translate in more women at work and in important positions. If that does not happen in the next two years, then it means that the system hasn’t worked. For now, let us believe that safety measures are in place for women workers in the film industry.
Q. What about the pay parity between men and women in the entertainment industry?
A. Women are getting paid better I would say. Still not at a par across all hierarchies though. Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut and Kareena Kapoor Khan are flag bearers, but not enough. Right now men are beginning to pay women better than they used to because the world is watching. But some of them, many who matter, are not liking it. The day the reluctance goes, we’ll know that change has happened.
Q. Finally what do you have to say those production houses which are reluctant to employ women after the MeToo movement?
A. I feel sorry for them. They are the kind of people who don’t deserve to have women in their homes as well.