Farida Jalal-starrer Mehram producer questions ban on women going solo for Haj
Maker of Farida Jalal-starrer Mehram questions ban on women going solo for Haj
Given that the violence prevalent in the country is testimony to the limited tolerance that certain political groups have for cinema, it's only natural that Farida Jalal-starrer Mehram attracts criticism. The film takes on the patriarchal system that frowned on women performing the Haj pilgramage in the absence of a male relative. After being screened at the Woodpecker International Film Festival on November 11, Mehram attracted the wrath of certain viewers.
Talking about her outing, which sees Jalal's character Aamna as an aged single woman claiming her right to perform Haj, executive producer Shweta Sethi Bhuchar says, "We are not scared. No one should be forbidden from seeking blessings from the Almighty. There should not be any conditions on the basis of caste, custom or gender. The urge to spark change led to the creation of this film."
Casting Jalal for the part, Bhuchar says, was instinctive. "Although we initially thought of casting theatre actors from Delhi, somewhere, we wanted to reach out to Farida ji. The film is contextually strong, and we felt she would do justice to the character. She was immediately on board, and that boosted our confidence. Faridaji connected with the story." Although the act of a woman performing Hajin the absence of male kin was not customary, as per recent developments, women above 45 years could make the pilgrimage without a relative, if they travel with a group of four or more.
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