Young stars of Bollywood descended from tinsel town to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi yet again but what grabbed headlines and eyeballs this time was the presence of four women from the film industry. Ekta Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Bhumi Pednekar and director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari made their presence felt in this meeting which was arranged by filmmaker Karan Johar and producer Mahaveer Jain. The selfie that the stars clicked with PM Modi became viral instantly with people calling it the most influential selfie of the year. It features Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, Rajkummar Rao, Ayushmann Khurrana, Rohit Shetty, Sidharth Malhotra, Vicky Kaushal and Karan Johar with the successful ladies of Bollywood who have managed to make an impact with their work.
All Hail Women Power!
While Ekta Kapoor is a big name in Bollywood and TV, Bhumi Pednekar was in news for her movie Toilet: Ek Prem Katha for which she became a crusader for PM’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Alia Bhatt, who does a healthy mix of Bollywood potboilers and movies with a message, was present too for the meeting which was all about how the entertainment industry can make a contribution towards building the nation. Nil Battey Sannata director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari’s presence was a great inclusion and hopefully there can be more women directors and achievers from the entertainment industry in such future meetings for an extensive dialogue. Karan Johar took to Twitter to share about his experience and wrote:
Thank u Hon’ble PM @narendramodi. All of us who had the incredible opportunity to interact with u today represent the world’s largest film industry & together we would love to inspire & ignite positive changes towards a transformative India. pic.twitter.com/7h99wifTph— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) January 10, 2019
All For Men, Men For All
The men-to-women ratio in the meeting is still abysmal, but it’s an improvement from the last time such a meeting of Bollywood delegates was held with the PM. The 18-member panel (or manel as it was called) consisted of stalwarts like Karan Johar, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Ritesh Sidhwani and CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi with no women at all. It was a sad state of affairs for the women of the Indian film industry who are still sidelined despite their good work over the decades. Directors Leena Yadav (Parched), Alankrita Shrivastava (Lipstick Under My Burkha), producer Guneet Monga (the Lunchbox and Masaan) lamented at the lack of female representation at the meeting which was held to discuss the power of the film industry.