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No Fear No Favour

They only remember the word vagina,” Swara Bhaskar slams trolls over her letter on Padmaavat

After her explosive letter to The Wire, and coming down hard on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum-opus Padmaavat, actress Swara Bhaskar has now been surrounded by trolls and created a storm in the sea.

After being hit by trolls online, the Tanu Weds Manu famed actress has now come out open clarifying her stand and the content of the letter.

The letter, in which she suggested that she felt “reduced to a vagina” while watching the film, has since then gone viral and while some, like Swara’s co-star from the upcoming movie ‘Veere Di Wedding’ Sonam Kapoor, retweeted an appreciation, many did not find it particularly appetising.

In her piece written for The Wire, Swara called Bhansali out for glorifying acts like sati and Jauhar that deeply undermine the dignity of women.

“Women have the right to live despite being raped, sir. Women have the right to live, despite the death of their husbands, male ‘protectors’, ‘owners’, ‘controllers of their sexuality’.. whatever you understand the men to be,” Swara wrote in her letter.

“It would be nice if the vaginas are respected; but in the unfortunate case that they are not, a woman can continue to live. She need not be punished with death because another person disrespected her vagina without her consent,” she also wrote.

Swara also stressed the fact that she had spoken up for the film release. ‘Padmaavat’ faced flak from numerous quarters including death threats to its director and leading actress.

The film depicted the character Rani Padmini who committed Jauhar in order to save her pride from the invading emperor Alauddin Khilji, finally saw the day of the light on January 25, but was not allowed to release by Hindutva forces in various parts of the country, despite the Supreme Court order.

Singer-actor Suchitra Krishnamoorthi picked up on a role of a prostituted woman played by Swara earlier on in her career, in the 2017 acclaimed film ‘Anarkali of Aarah’.

“Funny that an actress who can play an erotic dancer/prostitute with such elan should feel like a vagina after watching a story of a pious queen. What standards are these… tch tch,” she said.

Replying to Krishnamoorthy, Swara said that it was appalling how the society could not accept the fact that a woman uttered the word vagina and is the only part that is being recalled from an article with a word count of 2440 words. So … Vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina……………vagina vagina VAGINA!!!!!,” she wrote.

Krishnamoorthy was not the only one who was fixated on Swara’s argument.

Award-winning Journalist Sonal Kalra also directed her guns at Swara Bhaskar and tweeted in response to the actress letter, she tweets: “I’ve realised that I don’t qualify as a feminist since I can’t say vagina 5 times in a sentence. No, wait, not that I can’t. I don’t want to.”

To this, Swara again replied that it was totally Sonal’s choice to say the word or not, but the fact that it was the only word she recalled from the entire article was suggestive.

“…that your only recall is the use of the word vagina.. may have something to do with.. I wonder what?” Swara questioned.

Twitterati also accused Swara of “belittling the entire woman community”, Swara said, “Read the article again.. what part of it ‘belittles’ women. And no there is no jealousy.. tell me every time you think a thought, or have an opinion; is it because you are jealous???? That’s an unfortunate and emotionally draining existence. My sympathies.”

A tweet from September 2017 about trolling trolls has been pinned on Swara Bhasker’s Twitter timeline, so it doesn’t look like she’s backing down anytime soon.

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