Rahul Sharma: I believed, women need not work
Addressing gender bias in Mitegi Lakshmanrekha, Rahul Sharma on how his opinion on women changed after living and working in Mumbai
It's an irony of sorts that having last been a part of Kaal Bhairav Rahasya, a show based on superstition, Rahul Sharma is now featuring in a venture that urges people to think and question everything. Mitegi Lakshmanrekha is fitting though, given that it addresses timely issues like gender bias in an increasingly conscious society, but, more importantly, it features Sharma at its helm, someone, who also grew up in a patriarchal small town. In an interview with mid-day, he talks about how his show hopes to urge the older generation to understand the young.
Tell us how your show will address empowerment?
The love story starts on a happy note, but when the subject of women empowerment is broached, opinions change. When society stands against a girl [in the show], a man goes against all odds to support her. So, it's a story that progresses with time. Obviously, empowerment cannot happen overnight. It's a story that pans over eight to 10 months.
How accepting do you think society is of changing trends?
I am not trying to break norms or change society. I only want to give people a subject to discuss. Mitegi Lakshmanrekha pushes you to think as a father or parent. It makes one question why rules are different for men and women. It's important for the older generation to change course as per the new generation, failing which, the divide between the two will only increase. We are trying to showcase that men need to be the voice of this change.
Ever since you started working in shows that touch on women's empowerment, have things changed in the small town of Dausa Jilla, Rajasthan, where you belong?
I have seen women face many restrictions back home. My mother too bore the brunt of societal norms. If this show can even make five families think, and change, I believe my goal will be achieved. I was of the opinion that women need not work outside their homes. But that changed when I came to Mumbai. My father has changed too. When my family came to Mumbai, they faced a culture shock. They met so many people and learned from their experiences. Now, my sisters are independent.
What issues will be addressed through the show?
The issues include discussion around wearing short skirts, staying out till late and interacting with the opposite sex, among others.
Why have you always been associated with shows that have social issues at their core?
It's not something I planned. I have been fortunate to be connected with shows that talk about subjects that matter. People have loved and appreciated my work. I couldn't be more grateful.
Whose presence has had an impact on your life?
My mother. She taught me where to draw the line, the need to respect women and bring about a change in society.
What if Chitrangada Singh were in these professions?