Shabana Azmi who was one of five panellist at the FICCI Frames open discussion, spoke out about item numbers in Bollywood films, which encouraged objectifying of women.
Reported on Hindustan Times, Azmi explains why she feels so strongly against item numbers. “I have strong views on item numbers because they are not part of the narrative and they’ve been put in a film for the only purpose of titillation and nothing else. When a girl or a leading lady says ‘it’s alright, I want to celebrate my sensuality’ I have no problem with that. I think that’s wonderful. But under the pretence of ‘celebrating your sensuality’ what you are actually doing is surrendering to the male gaze and objectifying yourselves because the business of cinema is of images.”
Azmi further added how it is worse when, “fragmented bits of her body, heaving bosom, swinging navel, shaking hip”, was heavily focused on, that it took away from the actors autonomy.
The panel consisted of Vani Tripathi Tikoo, CBFC member, Gayatri Yadav, president and head, Consumer Strategy & Innovation, Star India, Apurva Purohit, president, Jagran Prakashan Ltd and Tavleen Singh, political columnist and author.