I have spoken endless number of times before on the social responsibility of film-makers. Seriously, a lot of us do not give them their due credit, but the movies can make people receptive to things they would otherwise scoff at!
A lot of social stigmas like child marriage, dowry and other societal vices have been condemned by the junta and movies have played an important role in making our Indian society understand this. One such example here is single motherhood. Now, a lady may be a mom and be single and there could be ‘n’ number of reasons for the same.
She could have lost her husband early on in the marriage or she could have decided to part amicably with her husband, or she could be an unmarried lady raising the child of the boyfriend who ditched her, or she could be a witch who may have drowned her husband… The point here is that the reasons could be aplenty, but does Indian society help single moms? Sadly, the answer is No. Indian society can accept a single mom only if her husband had died a tragic death, and she decides to live the life of a widow, who spends most of her time in the temple praying for the son, who is loyal and disciplined.
But, I am happy to note that times are changing. Today’s Indian society is more receptive to a modern single mom, who can take care of her child and still earn a living for the household!
She doesn’t have to be a saree clad Indian lady, found mostly in either the kitchen or the temple… She is just like any other girl her age!!! The first time I noticed Indian lead actresses playing the role of single moms with aplomb was in Aishwarya Rai-Abhishek starrer, Kuch Na Kaho. Ash’s husband in the movie leaves her and their son in pursuit of “better” things in life! She brings up the son on her own!
And then you have Lara Dutta’s character in Partner, shown in a similar light, in which she plays a flambouyant journalist. Amongst the latest ones, you find Madhuri’s character in Aaja Nachle, very commendable. She gets ditched in love, has a daughter to raise… but all you can see, is her laughter and zest for life!
I think if such characters continue to be written in Hindi films, very soon our society will welcome single moms with open arms!🙂