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Biased Bollywood: Sexist dialogues mouthed by top actors

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By Subuhi Parvez

Recently several anti-women sentiments have been expressed in public purview — Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and spiritual leader Asaram Bapu are some examples. But is cinema, also not equally culpable for reinforcing stereotypes? After all the debate that we've had about Bollywood's portrayal of women, we list some of the mysogynistic dialogues by the A-listers in the industry.


Salman Khan starrer Dabangg (2010) shows Salman Khan as a chauvinist cop, who tries to woo his love interest Sonakshi Sinha. Despite her disinterest, Chulbul Pandey keeps talking to her and in one of the conversations where he gives her money for the pots, when she refuses, he replies: pyar se de rahe hai, rakh lo, varna thappad maarke bhi de sakte hai.

How can a cop ever talk to a young woman like this? Isn't it sending a message that because Salman Khan can say it, it is cool?

Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam

A 2002 release, Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam has some similar offensive comments. The film revolves around Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, who are happily married until Madhuri's childhood friend Salman Khan enters. Shah Rukh Khan plays the jealous husband, who doesn't like a male friend's presence in his wife's life.

There is a dialogue where Shah Rukh Khan tells Madhuri Dixit: Tum ek patni ho...Tumhara pati jaisa chahega vaisa hi hoga...Yeh shaadi ka dastoor hai...; Sirf bistar par sona hi ek patni ka farz nahin hai. Man se man milna chahiye...; Ghar se bahar jane wali auratein hi badchalan nahin hoti. Ghar ki baatein bahar le jaane wali bhi badchalan hoti hain...; Mard aurat ka bhagwan hota hai.

Kambakkht Ishq

Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor starrer Kambakkht Ishq faced flak at the time of it's release. The film contains one of the most sexist comments ever: "You girls are good only for one thing." Another dialogue that's been axed, thankfully, is Marriage se pehle ladkiyan sex object hoti hain aur marriage ke baad they object to sex.

The Dirty Picture

Vidya Balan starrer The Dirty Picture is about a star who is into B-grade film business. The kind of dialogues the protagonist utters are offensive, all the same. In one of the scenes, while talking to her co-star, Vidya Balan says: Aise mat dekho, lagta hai marinated murgi ko tandoor dekh raha hai.

Aamdani Athani Kharcha Rupaiyaa

The 2001 release shows women as victims. In one of the scenes, Johnny Lever tells his wife: Mard kab peeta hai, kya peeta hai, kaise peeta hai, yeh jaankaari rakhna Bharatiya naari ka sabse important duty hai.

Not only films but Bollywood songs also show women as an object of desire.

It's a done-to-death cliché that Bollywood is a second religion in our country. One rhetoric question — Can't filmmakers be more sensible while scripting such insensitive scenes. Celebrities like Salman and Shah Rukh Khan are demigods with a following which is perhaps not quite countable. Can't they become agents of change?

But there are some directors,  who are portraying women in balanc- ed roles, also. Bollywood is, albeit in small measure, witnessing a change with more layered cinema. Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, Ayan Mukherjee, Shoojit Sircar are there to name a few.


Both Ayesha Takia and Gul Panag are shown as two confident women coming from different backgrounds.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Director Zoya Akhtar again has shown Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin in much stronger roles. They are independent, smart and confident women.

Luck By Chance

Konkona Sen's role in the film is of a strong-headed woman, who after being dumped by her selfish boyfriend played by Farhan Akhtar, doesn't go back to him even after he apologizes.

No One Killed Jessica

Rani Mukherji and Vidya Balan have played two very different roles. One is playing a journalist (Rani Mukherji), who follows the path of truth and knows exactly what she wants; another one (Vidya Balan) plays the victim's              sister, who keeps fighting for her till the end.


Kalki Koechlin in yet another role plays a young student, who is inspired by a Bengali politician. She goes all out to find the footage against the culprit in the film.

We've listed five of such dialogues, feel free to contribute more if you know any.