Actor and television presenter Mandira Bedi has been active on social media and constantly gives her fans a glimpse into her life. The actor has been constantly trolled though, for her unconventional way of living. She was subjected to mean comments yet again on social media for posting a picture with her friend in a pool.
Bedi on Instagram posted a couple of pictures with her best friend who was seen in a pool. The actor captioned the picture with a sweet birthday message for him and signed off by saying, “Love you, my dearest friend from the age of 17!”
Mandira Bedi Trolled For Photos With Best Friend
Not long after her photos were online, trolls went after her and left mean comments. While some trolls criticised the actor’s masculine look because of her cropped hair, some users went beyond that. A user commented, “Are tumhare pati ko mare hue kuch hi samay hua ha thoda sabra kar leti
Naysayers had also trolled Bedi for things as trivial as her clothing during her husband’s funeral. The grieving actor was trolled to partaking in his final rites and dressing in a simple white tee and denim jeans.
These nasty comments on her photo reflect how prejudiced and intolerant we are as a society. Why can't a widowed woman celebrate her friend’s birthday? Why is it seen as something bad if a woman has male friends? Why do we try to read between the lines when a man and a woman are friends? Who are we to belittle her grief? Why are we deciding how she must grieve her husband's death?
One can barely express in words the immense grief which comes with the sudden passing away of a family member, especially one’s spouse. To top it all, widowed women in India are subjected to ridiculous customs and rituals which imply that a woman does not have a life outside of her existence as someone’s wife.
In Indian society, widows are expected to lead a life of abstinence and are prohibited from partaking in religious rites and auspicious rituals like marriages as well. Widows are expected to give up on everything including wearing jewellery, colourful outfits, and shaving their heads. All of this ostracises widowed women and makes them an outcast in society.
In spite of living in the 21st Century, why are we still holding onto and subjecting women to such dehumanising practices? Why can we not accept that widowed women can find meaning in life without their husbands?
Along with subjecting the women to these limiting beliefs, and dehumanising practices, society also constantly scrutinises a woman's choice including being friends with men. The age-old belief propagated by the Hindi films about two people of opposite sexes not being just friends makes matters worse. “Ek ladka aur ek ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte ,” is a commonly used phrase.
From Maine Pyaar Kiya to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and beyond, the stereotype has been used to death in films which have solidified the belief among people. This has led to many people assuming two tight friends of opposite sexes have something going on or assume that either one of them is sexually attracted to the other. Is it so hard to believe that two people of opposite sexes can be friends?
It is 2022, it’s high time we start unlearning the stereotypes and try to become a little more broad-minded. Neither should we be deciding how a person grieves the death of their spouse nor should we assume that men and women cannot be platonic friends because they definitely can.
The views expressed are the author's own.