4 Ugly Truths We Can Learn From Farhan Akhtar's Letter To His Daughter
This is the era of open letters. Everyone and anyone is writing it—from people who we don’t know, to people who we all admire. The beauty of open letters is that they are unanimously addressed to us all, strike a chord with everyone and highlight the issue effectively. They are also, largely, open to interpretations. Farhan Akhtar, besides being a successful director, producer, actor and singer, is also known for his outspoken verdicts and opinions that he openly states, without butchering them one bit. His recent open letter, which was shared in The Hindustan Times is something that resonates with all of us, regardless of gender and age. Here are 4 imperative truths that we all can learn from this letter:
1. The Importance Of Making Our Children Aware Of What The ‘Reality’ Around Us Means
It is imperative for us to explain children from a young age about what a ‘good’ touch and what a ‘bad’ touch is. The importance of gender equality needs to be inculcated in kids from a young age itself. Touching a woman is not the right of a man, as her consent is everything. Farhan exclaims, “I’ve explained to you that if you’re not in the mood for a hug even from me, I should not touch you. The right to your body is yours and yours alone.”
2. The Sad Objectification Of Women In Bollywood
He apologises and confesses that he belongs to a industry where women are still objectified, stalking is mistaken for ‘being in love’ and how movies ‘normalise’ all of this. “Such behaviour — which flies in the face of consent that I’ve always tried to talk to you about — has been normalised by movies. Stalking, unfortunately, has become a mutated form of cinematic romance.”
3. The Constant Struggle To Fight For Freedom Of Speech
He explains how as stars they are constantly surrounded by fans who look up to them for their work and that is a huge responsibility for B-town celebs. In reality also, the fact that someone looks up to you makes you more aware of your action and that makes it harder to get one’s freedom of speech. “I too, dear daughter, function in a field where, like you, I’m constantly battling for freedom of speech, of expression, of creative expression,”he explains.
4. The Importance Of Constant Communication
He presses on the fact that how important it is to keep the communication flowing. It is important for us, as family, to encourage children to confide in us and have the power to follow their heart. “But like all fathers, I want you to remember that through your journey in life, you have a friend in me. You must always chase your dreams and live your life with freedom,” he states.