Culture & Lifestyle / Kangana Ranaut Delivers A Powerful & Feminist Interview At The Women In The World Summit

Kangana Ranaut Delivers A Powerful & Feminist Interview At The Women In The World Summit

Culture & Lifestyle Oct 13, 2015

Kangana Ranaut recently attended the International Women in the World summit in London, where she delivered a rousing and feminist interview with BBC reporter Shabnam Mahmood that completely impressed audiences and the media. 

Ranaut has emerged as one of Bollywood's most interesting and outspoken actresses with her honest interviews in the press about her views on female roles and her journey as an outsider in Bollywood.

This time, the whole world got to see why Ranaut is, as Mahmood called her, “an independent women in Bollywood.” She touched on the general idea that girls are not valued and ignored in India and its impact in her childhood. She spoke about the differences in treatment from her brother to herself and how she rebelled against this.

“I wasn’t a child an Indian parent would like to have. I was a pain! I didn’t see myself as my family saw me, as a liability. I wanted to be my own hero. So, I ran away from my house.” 

Her father gave her an ultimatum to be a doctor or receive no support if she chose her own path. She took that year to go to Mumbai and Delhi to try her luck in Bollywood. This escape from her small town in Himanchal Pradesh toughened her up, as she started off modelling but faced days where she ended up, “sleeping on the pavement and didnt have food to eat."

Ranaut admitted that her initial years in Bollywood were not a fairy tale since she was treated like a nobody. Part of that initial struggle was the media constantly mocking her diction and English skills, which was merciless at the time. "It was quite harsh. I couldn’t speak a word of English. In England, people might be understanding of that, but in Bombay if you don’t speak English, people would ask "How does she expect to work in Hindi films?""

While Ranaut seemed a tad nervous with her answers in the beginning, she made solid points as to why India is lagging behind in terms of gender equality. She responded that India needed more "role models which young women can follow, their parents can follow. They should get inspired with their stories and journeys.”

But she saved her most rousing words when she explained that actresses don't need anyone's approval in their craft: 

Photo Credits: ScoopWhoop 

She further explained that when she started out she was dismissed, but that sense of self and pride never wavered in spite of her troubles. "You've got to be confident of who you are. Others' opinion of you will always shift. I am who I am because my understanding of myself never changed." 

These moments of eloquence from Ranaut made our inner feminists fist-bump the sky because she delivered an empowering message that all women need to hear. Ranaut has been unapologetic about her middling film choices early in her career and the backlash she's faced from the press, so it's important to hear that she, even in her moments of struggle, had a steadfast belief in her abilities as a woman and an actress. 

Ranaut is an inspiring actress who has fast become the outspoken pulse in Bollywood, daring to tackle subjects that others might not. Here's hoping that she continues to empower women with her refreshing honesty.

Main Image Photo Credit: Indian Express

Rumnique Nannar

Rumnique Nannar


Rumnique Nannar is a new journalist with a passion for all things pop culture, film, and art. Rumnique was born in London, with a predilection for devouring English chocolate with her Vogue, ANOKHI, and Glamour magazines in tow. She is currently in her Journalism Masters at UBC. Connect ...


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