16 January, 2021

Alia Uber Alles | By Sharmila Tagore

Challenging Bollywood’s entrenched gender roles will be a collective job. There are worthy ­others. But there’s something about the Bhatt girl, writes Sharmila Tagore.

Photograph by Getty Images
Alia Uber Alles | By Sharmila Tagore

As India turns 71 next week, Outlook zeroed in on 21 individuals who have made a lasting impression on this country – for both good and bad – so far in the 21 st century. And we got 21 equally important personalities to write on the 21 individuals we chose.

In this column, veteran actress Sharmila Tagore writes on Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt. "If there’s one aspect of Alia I wish we could all emulate, it’s her ability to laugh at herself. It’s what makes her truly special and adds to her appeal as an everywoman," she writes.


I have been frequently asked how the image of the heroine in Hindi cinema has changed over the years. The question has often perplexed me. I think what we should ask is whether the image of the Bollywood heroine has changed at all. It seems to me that the so-called changes only manage to camouflage what has remained stubbornly the same, which is not surprising given that the Hindi film industry continues to be male-dominated. And yet, over the last few years, one has been...



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