#Interviews

Actor Sanya Malhotra Wants Young Women To Take Inspiration From Her Characters

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Actor Sanya Malhotra starrer Pagglait been creating a buzz because the plot of the movie dismantles the stigma attached to widowhood. While widows are expected to mourn the departure of their husband throughout their lives, dress in shabby clothes and live a dejected life, Sanya Malhotra’s Sandhya is someone who is unable to cry after her husband’s death and craves for some snacks and drinks. Ultimately, she is successful in liberating herself from all stereotypes the society and her in laws try to place upon her. The actor spoke to SheThePeople about her character in the movie, importance of financial independence of women and what feminism means to her. Here are some extracts from the interview.

On Financial independence of  women

Sanya Malhotra says that it is extremely important for women to be financially independent. Financial independence gives women liberation, confidence and security. At a personal level, she feels that it has given her freedom. The actor further says that in India, there are many women who are like Sandhya. As children, their parents would take life decisions for them. They tend to restrict them from simple things like riding a bike or not having a job despite being highly educated. In the movie, Sandhya has a double MA but is not allowed to have a career because her husband earns well enough.

She continues, “Agar aapne padhayi kari hai, toh please work. Find yourself a job. Find that independence financially and find yourself a guy who is a feminist basically, you know. That’s really important and I think Pagglait and the character is very inspiring and I hope people who are watching it, they also get inspired.”

On empowering women to leave loveless and sexless marriages

Sanya Malhotra says that it’s tough to empower women to leave loveless and sexless marriages. She thinks that we can only inspire and motivate them but dictating it is difficult. The Pagglait actor then says that even Sandhya wasn’t aware of it. After her husband Astik’s death, she meets his ex-lover Akanksha and gets to know a part his life that he had hidden from her. Had he been alive, she would have adjusted in life because that is what women are told before they get married. This is from where the gaslighting begins. Since childhood, they are conditioned into believing that certain tasks are meant for men whereas others are meant for women. Malhotra repeats, “I think we can only motivate and inspire women”.

On changing the mindset of Hindi-movie goers

Actor Sanya Malhotra says a lot of people in our society are misinformed on the subject of feminism. Malhotra adds, “I personally feel that both men and women are pretty backward on this topic. As an actor, I it’s my responsibility…the kind of characters that I choose. So when people are watching it, they get inspired. When young women are watching it, they get inspired with the characters I am playing on screen.”

In conclusion, she says that she can do this bit as an actor and do similar  interviews so that she can let others know how important it is to be a feminist.

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