Not against nudity, not for exploitation: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Leh, Sep 23 (IANS) He presents his heroines mostly as the girl-next-door with minimal makeup and a simplicity that screams emotions louder than the cacaphony of item numbers. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra says he is not against nudity in films, but he has strong views against exploitation of women.

"I don't see art there," Mehra said while talking about the current trend of raunchy item songs.

"I am not against nudity. If that's a part of the story, please go ahead. It's beautiful...our bodies are beautiful. But exploitation for money and exploitation on the part of the audience and society for titillation...," added the filmmaker as he mulled over the matter while chatting on the breezy and picturesque banks of Indus river here. He was here for the second edition of Ladakh International Film Festival.

The need of the hour is for filmmakers to own up the "responsibility" of avoiding "gender bias", for actresses to make the right "choice" and for the audience to "stop watching" anything that stands to exploit anyone.

This, he agreed, all the more at a time when constant "concerns" are raised against showbiz for giving a fillip to the escalating number of rape cases in the country.

"Filmmakers and performers are a part of the society. There is no reason to objectify. The only reason as I can think of is the lust for glamour, and greed for money, and you also get eyeballs. That has to be discouraged," said the 50-year-old looking relaxed in a white shirt teamed with denims.

He practices what he believes in.

Be it Soha Ali Khan in "Rang De Basanti", or Sonam Kapoor in "Delhi-6" as well as in her not-so-meaty-but-mighty role in "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" - Mehra's female protagonists have never had to resort to skin show or sexy numbers to leave an impact. The fact that it has worked proves his point.

"Cinema reflects whatever is going on, and not in a good way, I would say. And when there's gender bias in cinema, it's a shameful act. I hang my head in shame when I see that... whether I have done it or not, I belong to that community. One has to own the responsibility," he added.

Also, the onus lies on the performer hugely.

"Why is anyone doing it? Is there a necessity? Is there someone dying at home out of hunger? Are there younger siblings for whom you have to pay the school fees? ... so there's no 'majboori' factor here at all.

"If there is lust for glamour and it is a girl who is dancing out there, it's her choice! If she refuses, and she can, then there is nothing anyone (either a filmmaker or the audience) can do," he said.

The audience, especially needs to take a stand, according to Mehra.

"Don't watch it! Nobody is forcing you. Don't buy that product, stop buying it, and if there are no takers, one won't make it," he said.

Away from the reel life, in real life, we need to look at ourselves in the mirrors as an individual, as a family unit and educational institutions, said Mehra.

"And that's how reform can begin. It's not easy, it won't happen overnight. It's a slow process, but I am confident that it can be turned around, has to be turned around, it should be turned around," he added.

(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at radhika.b@ians.in)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

The former England batsman will have to lead the franchise as he is out of the match against Bangalore with a finger injury. More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »