Actor Tillotama Shome backs Swara Bhaskar over the furor created by her open letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali for his film Padmaavat. She says that like any other viewer, Swara is entitled to have an opinion.
"I think Swara or anybody is free and should be free to express their opinion about whether they like a film," says Tillotama in an exclusive interaction with News18.com on the sidelines of the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018.
She adds that one can like or dislike the letter but it's unfair to question her right to expression. "Whether you like Swara’s open letter or not, I don’t think it's cool at all to just critique her right to express it, it's really unfair."
Swara received major flak for the open letter in which she criticised Bhansali for glorifying Sari and Jauhar practices in the film and said that she felt reduced to a vagina by the end of it. The actor had said she understands that Jauhar and Sati are a part of India's social history but that certainly doesn't mean that one should make a film about it with no perspective or, without a comment on such a "misogynistic" practice.
Several celebrities including Suchitra Krishnamoorthi and Vivek Agnihotri hit back and questioned her opinion. Some social media users were also irked by the usage of word vagina in the open letter. To this, Tillotama feels that it only reflects as to how disconnected the society is with their body parts.
"Toes, neck, breasts, eyes, vagina, knees and appendix- these are parts of body. There are certain parts of body we have created a sense of shame and a taboo around it. Swara expressed it as it is without a sense of shame or taboo around it," she says.
The actor turned a "show-starter" for designer Shantanu's Kolkata-based label Maku and delivered an eye-opening monologue about how people lose their roots in the daily hush and rush of life to open his collection titled 'In Transit'.
On being asked what made her say yes to the designer, Tillotama shares that it's because of Shantanu's intent and the content. "The content of Shantanu's words which talks about being in transit, slowing down and connecting to your roots is something I related to a lot."
"It was not a gimmick because Shantanu is a very genuine person and I think that in the words and the clothes that he makes, there’s no dichotomy between the two. I was really taken in by his genuine need to express that fashion should enable a sense of comfort and rootedness and a sense of home," she shares.