Swara Bhaskar’s stupendous performance in her last release, Anaarkali of Aarah, has sort of triggered the cause of violence against women in India and also created awareness related to women empowerment and safety.
Swara as Anaarkali warns the character who questions her sexuality in the movie by
saying, ‘Whether she is your wife or a whore or less than a whore, don’t touch a woman without asking.’ Swara’s brilliant portrayal of the unapologetically sexual Anaarkali has drawn praise from film critics and feminist commentators throughout the country.
Featuring a female protagonist and delivering a clear message of female empowerment, Anaarkali of Arrah is among a wave of women-centric films sweeping Bollywood.
The films are helping fuel an unprecedented debate in India about violence against women as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party has called for and sometimes promoted a return to traditional values in Indian society.
Anaarkali of Aarah marked a step forward because the film shuns the weepy, apologetic tone of earlier movies centered around social issues.
As Swara puts it, “Anaarkali is unapologetic about the fact that she is sexually promiscuous and sexually free. She’s not a victim, which is the way you usually see female sexuality depicted in India.”