Madhuri Dixit Nene has been making significant waves with the recently released film Maja Ma, which is not solely about society’s struggle towards acceptance of a woman’s sexual orientation. It’s much more. The film’s narrative surfaces the importance of a woman’s independence, both financially and emotionally and mentally.
In a conversation with SheThePeople, Madhuri Dixit, who plays the protagonist, Pallavi, in the film, shares some thought-provoking insights about the significance of financial independence and the urgency to make emotional and mental independence a priority, too.
Madhuri Dixit Nene speaks about the financial independence of women
In the film Maja Ma, Pallavi Patel’s daughter Tara lives on her terms. She exercises her choices in life, supports issues that matter to her, and is carefree regarding society’s expectations of how she must behave as a woman. While she does that independently, it’s her support system in her mother which gives her the strength to avail her choice and stand by it. Dixit believes it’s significant that a feeling of independence in a woman must also come from within, an aspect that offers her the inner strength to own up to herself, acknowledge what she wants, and eventually move forward in life on her terms.
In Pallavi Patel’s case, her sexual orientation becomes a substantial roadblock as it becomes hard for her family and society to accept who she really is. However, several women, irrespective of their sexual orientation, are stuck either in unhappy marriages or dysfunctional family dynamics where they’re limited to being a family member in the crowd and have no sense of independence in either their minds or in anyone else’s eyes. Financial independence, therefore, becomes significant for women to have agency and stand for their individualism. Dixit extends this thought by saying, “Yes, I feel every woman should be finally independent but I think it’s a state of mind, and it’s just not a financial aspect that gives them agency. I’ve seen a lot of financially independent women, who are still in abusive relationships, they’re in relationships where they are treated as the second-grade citizen in their households. There are still those kinds of things, so it’s more complicated than that, and it requires a bigger, wider perspective.”
You can watch her video here.
Women carving a path for themselves will be able to thrive better when they’re in an environment that supports that thought in the first place. The fact that women in higher positions across professional fields still don’t get due credit because the system around them crashes their very attempts validates what Dixit discusses with SheThePeople. She continues, “Financial independence does help in making decisions. Maybe, for example, if a woman says she is going to stand on her own, and go out on her own, this very part of her making a decision will be backed up if she is financially independent. However, I’m saying it’s complicated because she may want to make decisions and go out all on her own, but will the system and her folks back her? Will she have the right people to support her in moving forward?”
A state of mind where a woman is liberal, the kind of independence that she gets from within is what we’re tackling in society today and the suitable kind of backing and acceptance will reflect in women having the agency to their self-identity. “I think the fitting kind of support is essential. A woman who wants to go out on her own, who says ‘ok, this is not my life, I’m going to take a different path’ will require some sort of support from either family or friends or an NGO, for that matter. To have someone help you through your difficult times is something everyone wants, and women facing hardships during their path require it too. That’s the important question here, whether it’s an issue we’re tackling in the film or real life, women need to be independent, but in all forms,” she concludes.
View this post on Instagram