Actor Shabana Azmi, has said the idea of masculinity is too toxic currently, adding that to change the gender equation, men need to change while women need to become independent. She also said that Mee Raqsam portrayed the father’s character as someone with all qualities a progressive man must have in today’s time. The film, produced by Shabana and directed by her brother Baba Azmi, is a tribute to their father, legendary poet Kaifi Azmi.
Shabana told IANS. “At present, there is toxicity around the whole idea of masculinity. Masculinity means flexing muscles, wielding power over the powerless. That is a toxic thing. It is true that we want women to change, and become independent. But to establish gender equality we also need men to change. Why is masculinity not about tenderness, empathy, and being supportive? All the qualities we look for in the new progressive man, we get to see in the character of Salim in Mee Raqsam.”
About his film, Baba had told Hindustan Times, “With the film, what one is trying to celebrate is the composite culture of our country. Because that is the atmosphere that both Shabana and I have been born and brought up in. These are our beliefs so I cannot say that ye community ke log sab bure hote hain.”
Shabana had also said about the film, “The film is not based on my life with my father, but it celebrates the father-daughter bond. It was shot in Mijwan, a village in eastern UP, where my father was born. So Baba decided to make this film in his birthplace in the year of his birth centenary. There cannot be a better tribute to him.”
The 69-year-old actor is all set to face the camera soon for a web series based on the Mughal empire, called Moghuls.
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