We are losing respect for women in India: Amitabh Bachchan lashes out

The actor spoke out against the growing violence against women during the trailer launch of Shoojit Sircar's Pink. 

Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Taring, Taapsee Pannu and Amitabh Bachchan at the trailer launch of Pink. (Photos: Shutterbugs Images)

Mayur Lookhar

Amitabh Bachchan's is a voice that resounds around the country. So it was no surprise when the actor made a passionate plea against the violence against women that seems to be spreading in the country.

At the trailer launch for Shoojit Sircar's latest, Pink, the veteran said, "I think as Indians and individuals we need to educate ourselves to give importance to women in our lives." Bachchan plays a lawyer in the film that is set in Delhi and makes a strong plea for women's security in the country.

Asked by if the access to justice available to women in India was a far cry from what is shown in cinema, Bachchan said, "Sometimes we have to hang our heads in shame. Several incidents have happened in recent years that I feel should not have happened. We need to educate ourselves to give importance to women in our lives, to understand that their contribution and presence in society is equally important as that of men."

The actor emphasised the need for strong laws but disagreed with citizens wanting to take recourse to vigilantism. "Yes, we need to have very strong laws," he said. "We need to have a great amount of exposure for these people. There are many ways you and I may want to execute it, but that doesn't go according to the law of the land. There is a law and we have to follow it. Sometimes we feel disillusioned by the outcome, sometimes we will feel the procedure has been followed. This will continue." 

Bachchan pinpointed the lack of respect for women as the main cause for the rising crimes. "What is the basis of all this?" he said. "Somewhere we are losing respect for the female gender. The change for that can come from education, from people like you and me, when we make these kind of films. We expect to give women the honour, the right place in society. And that is what we are trying to do. It will take time, but it will happen." 

Piyush Mishra, Bachchan's co-star in Pink, agreed. "It is important to make such films in today's times," Mishra said. "The film may be based in Delhi, but its subject focuses on crimes against women which are a reality across India."

Actress Tapsee Pannu, who plays an important role in the film, said, "Pink is both easy and difficult. Easy, since I come from Delhi. But it was difficult because this has taken a piece from my heart." 

Director Shoojit Sircar has set the story in Delhi, and with good reason. Sircar mentioned that he followed the infamous Nirbhaya case while making the film. 

Pink is scheduled to be released on 16 September this year.