22 October 2017

'Secret Superstar': Review


* India has 940 females for every 1000 males. The natural sex ratio is 950 females for every 1000 males. So this means about 70 lakh girls and women are 'missing' in India.
* India's male life expectancy is 67 years and female life expectancy is 70 years - only 3 years more. In industrialised countries, female life expectancy is 7 years more than the male life expectancy.
* India's male literacy rate is 82% and female literacy rate is 65% - almost 20% lesser.

People say we ill-treat girls and women from their birth to their death. They are wrong. We start ill-treating them even before their birth. We kill girls before they are born. If they are born, we don't treat them as full humans having equal rights. And we say it is 'normal' for a man to beat his wife. The condition of girls and women in our country does not make for a very pretty picture.

Sociology tells us that agricultural society is gender-unequal and industrial society is gender-equal. So as India transforms from an agricultural society to an industrial society through the technological and economic process of modernisation, the situation will improve. True. Technology and economics are powerful forces. But there is another force that is even more powerful - the most powerful force in the world: love. And the greatest love in the world is a mother's love.

Advait Chandan's Secret Superstar is a no-holds-barred examination of India's shameful treatment of its girls and women. This itself would make it a good movie. But at its heart, it is a simple story about a mother's love for her child/daughter. Secret Superstar is beautiful, wonderful and uplifting. It is a moving tribute to the heroes of the world - and the visible gods: the mothers. Maatru devo bhava . . . Janani swargaat api gariyasi . . . Vande maataram . . .

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