It is a truth universally acknowledged (albeit silently), that power lies at the heart and the base of our society. It dictates who gets access and who gets left behind; it ensures the rich get richer, and the poor poorer. It is this power that makes a man feel that he has the right to disfigure a woman’s body dare she reject him; and it is this power that ensures that 73% of the wealth of a country like India lies with just 1% of its population.
At the World Economic Forum 2018, Shah Rukh Khan openly challenged this status quo and called for a shift in this power dynamic. Always his eloquent self, he emphasised on an individual’s right to choice and right for their consent to be respected. However, each time SRK makes a feminist statement or takes a stand or challenges the status quo, it makes me wonder why he continues doing the films he does. The simplest explanation is that he is very aware of how different he is from his characters, and doesn’t feel the need to bridge the gap. Though practical enough, I hope he uses his power one day to bridge the gap, and demand better from his workplace.
Shah Rukh Khan was honoured at the Crystal Award ceremony in Davos, for his ‘leadership in championing children’s and women’s rights in India’, and his work through Meer Foundation. The foundation was established to create a society where women are equal to men and rehabilitate and support survivors of acid attacks.