Nimrit Kaur Ahluwalia is a model and actor who won the title of Femina Miss India Manipur in 2018. She started her work in the entertainment industry with acting in music videos. Ahluwalia made her debut as a television actor with the role of Meher in Colors TV's Chhoti Sardarni. She is also a lawyer and an activist. SheThePeople spoke to Nimrit Kaur Ahluwalia about her perspective on the stereotypical representation of women on the television screen and how she is breaking such stereotypes through her character.
1. Meher is a character which is intensely loved by everyone. Why is Chhoti Sardarni so popular?
Probably people can really relate to Meher's character. We have all been in that situation in our families where our thought processes probably don't align with what our parents and grandparents feel. The fact that she is such a strong girl and maybe in times like today where feminists are really coming up and conversations about equality and feminism are finally happening and there's so much of change that we are seeing, I feel the relatability factor even increases. I also believe that is character is very headstrong, honest and sticks to her principles. Perhaps that is also one of the reasons why people love Chhoti Sardarni so much.
2. Was breaking stereotypes on screen easy for you? Did it come naturally?
It did come naturally to me but I feel that's never really the intention. When you are brought up like that, you end up making choices like that and you become very bold and fierce. In the process of it, you end up breaking stereotypes. For me, having my first show and my first ever poster in a billboard that I saw was with a seven month baby bump and so many people rejected this particular role only because they didn't want to get stereotyped. They didn't want people to look at them as a mother but I think being an actor is just about slipping into the character. Thanks to social media there's an access people have to who we really are. So I have never really been afraid of the stereotype people may think comes in the way of things.
3. Can multiple platforms save actors from typecasting because now you have more opportunities as compared to what was earlier. So what has your experience been like?
When you are the first generation in any profession, it's always harder because that's when you are figuring things out and it's not just the entertainment industry, it's any industry for that matter. But I feel really blessed that I have stepped into industry at a point when there are so many opportunities. The OTT is blooming. There are so many films that are being made for these platforms. Probably, it may not reach the big screen but its definitely going to reach the audiences. So I feel very happy. Also, I feel somewhere the entertainment industry is so much about making big investments. People are now placing their bets on talented actors, directors, writers. There's so much content that's being generated. Initially, you would see TV actors limited to only doing TV but now the idea of stardom is also getting dissolved. If you are doing great work, no matter what platform it is, you can easily make the medium switch. So that is also a great thing, I feel.
"I would really want women to be more confident", Says Nimrit Kaur Ahluwalia
4. Why do you feel we need more representation of women on screen and why do we need to tell more stories of women?
Since so many years, patriarchy has been fed into our brains and it has not just been our interaction with our family members but probably our workspace and content that we see, the way women are portrayed. Now, finally conversations are happening and change has started to happen. Performing arts is a way of expression and it's also a way of changing how people perceive things. So considering that it's such an important tool to use and it can be used so well to bring about a change, I feel it needs to happen in the right way and so we should encourage content where women are portrayed as strong individuals having a thought process of their own. I think that will really change the course of things in the future.
5. What would you like women to take away from the characters you play on screen?
I would really want women to be more confident in specially taking a stand for themselves. Even if it means putting your foot down in front of your family. I don't see it as a sign of rigidity but finally being able to express themselves and being more vocal and being ore strong headed because the kind of society we live in, if you don't take a stand for yourself, nobody else will. That would be my takeaway. I would want women to be more confident, be more strong and just be out there.
Watch Nimrit Kaur Ahluwalia's full interview with SheThePeople here: