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The world around you is changing, acknowledge the change: Paromita Vohra

Namita Kalla | Updated on: 3 December 2017, 14:10 IST

When she talks she has your lips zipped. She knows how to put her point forward and make you re-evaluate your views and look at things in a different light. While the world is shouting, 'Bring in the change' she says, 'Take note of the change that is happening around you and be a part of it.'

Meet eminent writer and film-maker Paromita Vohra who was in Jaipur to attend the “Woman Up! Summit 2017”. Speaking of the positive changes in society, Paromita opines that people and society have been changing for good over the years, but it is the media that is constantly telling people, especially women, that everything out there is extremely bad. "Media barely captures the success stories of men, women, and trans-genders that are making a shift. Instead it is busy shouting from the roof top that change is not possible." 

Pressing people to learn about the things that have changed over the centuries, she says, "Talk to women older to you and you will learn that your history is not a history of not being able to do anything. We believe that we are the only ones that are new but we forget that everyone was new in their times. They were doing the same things like we do today; fighting for issues they believed in.

If you talk to people older to you then you set up a channel of communication in which you connect to them and see them as different individuals. You connect yourself to history of change. And that is when you know that you are just a large part of the change and the larger part is yet to come.

She points out that many of us love to play up stories of difficulty. “We are so fond of exaggerating stories of difficulties that we ignore the fact that change comes on a daily basis. If you look at women’s life a hundred years ago, you will see that change has come. It is important that media responsibly stops talking about impossibility." 

But then we argue as to how can one close ones eyes to the fact that things are not fine. "Obviously we need to talk about the challenges, and social structures that prevent people from enjoying their basic rights and having good lives. But then it is equally important to showcase the histories of success. Can we have a balance? The fact that every girl goes to college today without fighting is a huge thing. So why would we say that things haven’t changed. Instead of denying change let us focus on things that are changing everyday" she states.

She believes that more than anything else society needs to look at the larger picture. "The truth about life is people are living differently. From villages, to towns, cities and across countries people are living differently, trying to break notions and bring a new ray of hope. It is time we all looked at the world from a different point of view. Stop looking at things in the same old fashioned masculine view. Step into the shoe of the women, the trans-genders, artists, and the less popular castes and creeds of society. Doing this will help us perceive people and things in a newer manner and we will then be able to represent society differently and tell a larger set of people that it is okay to be different."

Feminism talk
How could we not talk to her about feminism? So we asked her about her take on that. She laughed and said, "The word feminism is used more in a day than it was used 15 years ago. So there is a big change. Many women today claim the word feminism than in the past. They may fight the definition of feminism but they care about the word and it matters to them. Beautiful, encouraging, generative new art that is created by feminism". She further added," Each one has a new definition of feminism. Many put it in a way saying feminism is men Vs women, or women equal to men. But feminism for me is men and women standing against patriarchy. Men and women daring to fight age-old notions is feminism. For women to change, it is important that men also change. And for both of them to change for the better it is important that together they fight patriarchy." 

First published: 2 December 2017, 18:45 IST