Mrunal Thakur on voicing India’s first female comic book superhero Priya

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BizAsiaLive.com reported a while ago that Mrunal Thakur had lent her voice to the first female comic book superhero called Priya, in the comic book ‘Priya’s Mask’. The installment will present a debut alliance between two hugely successful female comic book superheroes from neighboring countries, with Priya collaborating with Pakistan’s female superhero, Burka Avenger, in their fight against the deadly virus.

BizAsiaLive.com talked exclusively to Thakur about being the voice of Priya.

What most appealed to you about voicing such a female superhero character?
In 2020, we still don’t have idols and heroes for our young girls. That’s simply tragic and equally telling of the times we are living in. It shows how we are conditioning the disparities when they are young and women grow up feeling like their lives are servicing other people’s narratives. In this story, a woman is creating her own narrative and that’s a significant start.

Did you agree to the project straight away?
Yes. It echoed my own values system and I did not need to think it through. I heard it and I knew I wanted to do this.

For you personally, what is the most important message about the character you are lending your voice to?
The fact that Priya is a sexual abuse survivor stayed with me. Young girls will know not to associate shame with it. Teaching them early on what is toxic masculinity, how to reject it, how to be their own person, finding the inner strength to fight the system are values that I latched on to.

How much engagement do you feel the children will feel with these characters and stories?
Children pick up easy. So I know the stories will stay with them. I know how important it is for them to hear stories and we through our stories are teaching them about consent, patriarchy, fighting spirit and survival streak. These stories are told with great vigour so in that sense, there will be a significant impact.

How much responsibility do you feel about the awareness this project seeks to spread?
I feel responsible towards every piece of work I put my name to. This one is more personal because every day while growing up I kept looking for a heroine who I could relate to. I don’t want a young girl in 2020 feeling the same way where they feel like support cast and not leading ladies in this larger male-driven narrative

How important do you feel such stories and characters are for girls and boys?
For girls, it gives them representation and strength to know that they are powerful but for boys it shows how they are victimised by the same structure that gives them power. Something as basic as boys don’t cry is as harmful for boys and for girls. Boys grow up believing that can’t be soft and kind and need to have the brute energy in them. And women or girls can’t co-exist with such a mindset. Boys also will learn about consent which is taught early.

Do you feel positive role models and stories with social messages are a good way of engaging children?
It is a way but the larger social institution has to come to play together. Staggered efforts wont yield much. A systematic reconditioning of the young has to be applied for a larger change to take place.

BizAsiaLive.com would like to thank Mrunal Thakur for talking to us.

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