Neena Gupta's Feminism Remark Reminds Us The Fight Is Long & Taxing

Neena Gupta as an actor, who appears to know her craft is delightful and admirable. But, her recent remarks on feminism and equality both raise an alarm and make us compare the battle for equal rights between the past world and present.

Mohua Chinappa
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Rise Of Antifeminism

Neena Gupta as an actor, who appears to know her craft is delightful and admirable. But unfortunately, one must accept that most admirations fall flat with time, and she recently proved it right, with her views on feminism and women empowerment. In her recent interview with the podcaster Ranvir Allahabadia, she is vociferously heard rubbishing “feminism” stating this is utter nonsense and there is no such thing as equality. 


Just to clarify that the battle started in 1917, when Sarojini Naidu, set up the Women's Indian Association (WIA), with Annie Besant and others. The main aim of the WIA was to obtain women's right to vote. She led a women's voting rights delegation to London to plead for equal rights for women and also joined the international movement for women's suffrage. As per the interview, according to Neena Gupta, these struggles are maybe not important. 

Why This Reminds Us That Feminism's Fight Is Still Long And Challenging 

We need to remind her and ourselves that these rights are the greatest inheritance from our past feminist crusaders, who moved every boulder in their path to bring fairness to our gender. 

Neena Gupta, as we would like to believe, is the perfect shining example in today’s times, as many women are opting to go ahead with pregnancies irrespective of their marital status. The current law states that “any woman who is above the age of twenty-one years and is a citizen of India may avail of ART services.” This means that single women, regardless of their marital status, are now eligible for IVF treatment on the same basis as married couples. This is a huge shift in gender empowerment. Therefore Neena Gupta is maybe overlooking her role among women who look up to her for the courage, she exhibited years back in taking agency over her body and pregnancy, without marriage. 

But one is definitely left confused with her recent remarks on womanhood in her interview. One doesn’t know how to react to this yesteryear star who is making a serious comeback with roles as a mother and grandmother, and as women, who look up to her and celebrate her reboot, is befuddled with such arbitrary sentences, against equality, spoken with such conviction and pride. 

Neena Gupta in the interview states that she realised she needed a man, many years back, as she needed a drop at the airport in the wee hours, of the 80s. Neena Ji is sadly forgetting that times have changed. Women are joining combat roles in the army. Also in the past, there were no Uber rides to drop you to your destination, which could track destinations and we could make the payments online. 


Currently, a woman needn’t learn to cook as Swiggy will also deliver her coveted dishes, hot, freshly packed, nutritious, keto diets, vegan and organic at her doorstep, all courtesy of the development of technology and integrating it in the life of a person. 

Also, safety for women travelling at unearthly hours, one can keep track of distance and place with a smartphone, that comes inbuilt with a location map. This enables the passenger to share live location and timing with family or friends. 

What is distasteful is her blindsided opinion on women, who she claims must be financially independent. Also in the same breath, she claims that homemakers must take pride in their household chores. This is confusing, to say the least. 

In this, she is overlooking the unpaid labour of home management and the dismissal of financial independence for this role since time immemorial. 

Just to note that more than half of the women who died by suicide in India, in the past two consecutive years were housewives. The National Crime Records Bureau report has revealed. In 2021, the share of housewives in female suicides increased to 51.5% (23,178) from 50.3% (22,372) in the previous year. These women take their lives, because of the inequality and discrimination they face their entire lives. 

Equality is a topic that must be discussed and every single development towards this space must be celebrated. 


Neena Gupta has lost many admirers with this interview, we would like to believe that she is taking cognisance of her comments. As a public figure and a star, candid is appreciated but adhering to misogynistic views on gender equality is sadly very difficult to digest. 

Mohua Chinappa is an author and runs a successful podcast called The Mohua Show.

Views expressed are the author's own.

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