If you thought social media was revealing, radio is fast proving to be a far more intimate medium, especially when it comes to connecting you with your favourite superstars. Albeit, a one-way conversation. In the recent past, Karan Johar and Kareena Kapoor had launched their own radio shows, Calling Karan (which ran up to 56 episodes) and What Women Want respectively, to great success. Joining the radio bandwagon now is Vidya Balan whose chat show will start airing in March.
A source had informed the Pune Mirror, “The idea is to encourage female callers to share incidents of domestic violence, marital abuse and the like. Vidya will offer legal solutions to their problems. She will be accompanied by famous lawyer and social activist Abha Singh.”
For the actress, who has already played the role of a radio jockey twice on the big screen, the show will serve as a platform to offer free legal aid to women across the spectrum and speak out against any kind of violence. It will also feature guests from the film industry, urging women to raise their voice in the face of oppression.
For someone like Kareena Kapoor, who is not on accessible to her fans via her personal social media, the radio show seemed like a way to speak to them heart-to-heart. In an interview with Anupama Chopra, she said that her husband Saif’s success on the show Sacred Games only urged her to be open to new platforms. As artistes, there is no vanity of any sort, she says, “It’s a good time for art, good time for content.”
Kareena, who had earlier vehemently refused to identify herself as a feminist, speaks about everything from motherhood and workplace equality to body shaming and women’s sexual preferences on her radio show which is also streamed on YouTube.
The reason why more Bollywood stars are perhaps keen to explore other mediums as their personal, authentic selves is because of the inherent pedestal the audience puts them on and looks up to them in reverence and also for answers to their life’s problems
So, of course, Karan Johar doles out love advice aplenty, and both Kareena and Vidya have been keen to explore issues faced by women in a deeply patriarchal country.
As Kareena, who has had guests like Sunny Leone, Mallika Dua, Swara Bhasker and Masaba Gupta grace her show, adds, “I’m getting to know myself much more. Although I come from a very protected background, I think I have soaked up so much from everyone… Why can’t someone who is beautiful, rich, talented and mother to someone like Taimur, also be relatable?”
Tentatively titled ‘With Vidya Balan Dhun Badal Ke Toh Dekho’, the longevity of Vidya’s show will be decided by the response it garners from viewers. The actress has been lauded by audiences very recently, for standing by her principles and refusing to promote the agenda of political parties in exchange of money (a sting operation conducted by Cobra Post).
One can only hope that with two mainstream popular actresses taking the stride towards communicating with their audiences directly and trying to affect their lives in a positive way, more celebrities will feel compelled to stand up for causes or issues which matter to them. In an industry, where women are always perceived to be at dagger’s end with each other, such shows also highlight a rare camaraderie — that the ladies of Bollywood stand in solidarity and support each other and the rest of the women in the country.