Mahesh Bhatt: My daughters far more intelligent than me
Mahesh Bhatt has been one of the best filmmakers of his time and inspired generations with his movie-making skills, but the director, who now produces films with new talent, says his three daughters - Pooja, Shaheen and Alia - are far more intelligent and practical than him.
"I have got three daughters and all three of them make me very proud. I have no problem in telling them that they are far more intelligent than I am and I also take instructions from them," Bhatt told IANS.
The filmmaker, known for crafting meaningful cinemas such as "Arth", "Saraansh", "Naam", "Kaash" and "Daddy", has daughter Pooja with his first wife Kiran Bhatt (original name Lorraine Bright). Later he married actress Soni Razdan and they have two daughters - Shaheen and Alia - together.
Sharing his joy of being a proud father of three successful girl children, he says that all of them have achieved something in their lives and that too without any help.
"Pooja is an example of how a girl child can sparkle and be completely self sufficient. Shaheen is a brilliant writer and unique child," he said.
"Alia is a star and she has added to my ageing stardom. I have been a star and man of public figure of a kind, but India is a young country and most of the Indians, who consume entertainment products, are under 25. Alia is undoubtedly one of the tallest icon in that space," added Bhatt who also has son Rahul.
If he is a proud father, he is a doting dad too.
"We belong to that strata of the society where attack from unknown people won't happen. But yes, my eldest daughter Pooja had a relationship with a person who under the influence of alcohol did abuse her and that became a very painful chapter of our family.
"So, if a strong self-sufficient woman like her can be subjected to domestic violence, then it makes me shiver when I visualise about all those vulnerable girls who do not have the economic clout or do not have the shield of stardom," he said.
Having contributed to Bollywood for around four decades, the moviemaker co-owns Vishesh Films with his brother Mukesh and they have together churned out bold and successful films like "Murder", "Jism" and "Raaz".
These films raised eyebrows for their sensual portrayal of women.
Tell him that films objectify women; Bhatt dismisses it saying that "objectification of women is also there in our culture and patriarchal mindset governs our society".
"Women are born slaves to a traditions, which compels them to be submissive, weak, docile, put up with the injustice and sufferings to achieve great virtue.
"To say that all the movies are responsible for the objectification of women is an exaggeration. I feel that women have the right to dress up in a particular way and if you call it objectification then what's wrong?
"She has the right to choose what she wears and if that doesn't go according to your culture and mindset, it doesn't mean that you should fight under the garbage by calling it an objectification. To blame a woman saying that she dresses up provocatively and invites rape and other injustice is an heartbreaking argument, which has no place in our social discourse," said the filmmaker.