Endorses a tele-serial that talks about ‘real-life issues’

Veteran Bollywood actor Sharmila Tagore on Tuesday said the country now has stringent rape and dowry laws as women have started speaking up for their rights.

The actor, who came to the capital to endorse the serial, Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon, to be aired by the national broadcaster on International Women’s Day, said parents needed to give equal opportunity to their daughters so that they could realise their aspirations.

“Girls need to be given the best education and fed well. This would ensure that when they mature into women they will earn well and look after their parents. They will be an asset to their families.”

Praising director Feroz Abbas Khan for speaking from women’s perspective in the serial, Ms. Tagore said that in a couple of episodes, she had seen his commitment to the cause of women.

“It is imperative that the Pataudi family supports it. Saif and Kareena could not come today because they are travelling. But later they also would be endorsing it. Whosoever is in a position must endorse such work. Feroz has done a lot of research and the serial talks about real-life issues.” Commenting on the lead role of an inspiring young woman hailing from a small town who becomes a doctor, the actor said she represents the aspirations of many young women. “Confident and capable, Sneha stands up for what she believes is right.”

Expressing concern over television shows producing stereotypical stuff, Ms. Tagore said shows still revolved around preference for a son. “No woman goes for work in these serials. Whereas, today every woman is doing a job and managing her family too. Women should be portrayed intelligently.”

Her daughter Soha Ali Khan said it was easy for her to extend support to the serial. “As I come from a privileged family, I was able to get the best education. My parents spared no expenses and I did my Masters in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Politics. They always stressed the fact that education empowers you,” she said.

Illustrating how Bollywood is influencing the mindset of today’s generation, Soha said although her film Rang De Basanti showed the protagonist killing the Defence Minister, the audience understood the larger message.

“To support different causes, the public staged candlelight vigils. There was a lot of awakening.”