Your film (English Vinglish) is based on the premise that while a woman gets love, what she does not get is respect. How far do you think it is true in real life?
It’s true for 90 per cent of the women and most of it stems from the fact that women are brought up to think of themselves as being lesser than men. For instance, I am always asked if Balki has been a support through the making of this film, but he was never asked whether I supported him when he made his films. Whenever a man does something special, it is highlighted, whereas a woman’s work is always taken for granted.
You said you’ve touched on the insecurity that Indians have of not being able to speak in English fluently. What do you think is the root cause of this insecurity?
I think it is to do with British colonisation. It is to do with our history, our past. We have this tendency to look at any white people with great awe. And since they brought in this language, we think it is far more superior than what our languages are. It is quite sad because all languages are equal. Not that English is any less, but a language should not be an indicator of feeling superior. In Europe, they aren’t so fluent (in English) but they speak their language with pride.- Gauri Shinde