Nawazuddin Siddiqui: My mother was not a teacher but she had the will to spread knowledge

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Written by Samarpita Das
| New Delhi |
Published:September 30, 2017 5:59 pm


BBC listed Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s mother Mehroonisa Siddiqui as one of the 100 most influential women hailing from India

At a time when few publications are branding actresses as Women Of The Year based on their style statement and popularity in the industry, BBC listed Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s mother Mehroonisa Siddiqui as one of the 100 most influential women hailing from India. A proud Nawazuddin immediately took to Twitter to make the announcement, “A Lady who showed courage against all odds being in a conservative Family from a small village-My Mother”. During a candid chat with indianexpress.com, the ‘Munna Michael’ actor opened up about all the battles his mother fought to bring in the right kind of change in the society.

You said that your mother fought against all odds. What kind of odds?

My mother and I hail from a small village. People over there were very conservative. It was a huge challenge for her to even step out from her house. There were a lot of restrictions imposed on her. She never got a chance to educate herself but she never missed the chance to educate the children in our village. She even tried to educate me and all the kids who hailed from my town. Some of them have now joined the army. She was very disciplined and I believe I also carry her values with me. My mother was not a teacher, but she had the will to spread knowledge and she was successful.

Do you think western media is changing their perspective about women in India?

I think perspective about Indian women is changing but we only notice these changes in urban areas. This change needs to happen in small towns as well. It is necessary. It is happening slowly and I am happy. As a celebrity, I support these moves. We all want the society to be progressive. As far as I know, all celebrities are trying their best to bring in the change. You have probably noticed how many women-centric films we have made recently. Previously, women were only objectified in films, and now they are the central character. Out of the recent female-centric films, ‘Kahaani’ and ‘MOM’ are my favourite.

What is your opinion on the huge wage gap between actors and actresses in the film industry?

Well, I believe you get as much as you deserve. The marketing team studies your body of work, appeal, connection with the audience and then the wages are decided. Nowadays, everyone gets paid well.

With the success of films like ‘Haraamkhor’, ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi ‘and ‘Newton’, do you see a change in viewing pattern of the Indian audience?

‘Haraamkhor’ was a hit because it was an extremely small budget film.. ‘isiliye woh thik thak nikal gayi.’ But films like ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ and ‘Subh Mangal Saavdhan’ were a hit. Yes, I think nowadays the audience have slightly changed their perspectives. But we can’t say that this is a drastic transformation. I think people now want to watch topic-oriented, content-based films maybe because they are bored with the same ‘hero hero’ stories. I think heroes in Bollywood have always been cliched. For the past seven years, we have only seen one kind of hero in all films and people are tired.

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We heard that you have signed a film with Riteish Batra? Tell us something about that role.

Yes. The name of the film is Photographer. I am playing a photographer. I can’t speak further about my role. Sanya Malhotra is also a part of this film.

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