A.P.J Abdul Kalaam
He is one of India’s very few blatantly feminist men and not even a new one at that. Long before the feminist wave hit the Indian realisation, APJ Abdul Kalaam wrote in his book ‘Wings of Fire,’ “When it comes to burning social issues like those related to women, dowry, girl child and others, we make loud drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home. Our excuse? ‘It’s the whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I alone forego my sons’ rights to a dowry.’ So who’s going to change the system?” he wrote.
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Akhtar takes after his father Javed Akhtar when it comes to voicing staunch criticism against women’s discrimination and issues. He’s actually taken a step ahead from just voicing his opinion to actually starting a campaign against women’s issues by the name ‘Men Against Rape and Discrimination’ that ironically abbreviates to MARD.
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He not only advocates and preaches feminism in his writings but also follows it. If I may say so as his immediate student, he is the one professor who has inculcated feminist values in his women students like few people in India would. For a book review he once wrote for Nivedita Menon’s ‘Seeing like a Feminist’ and said “The book should be made compulsory reading in all men's colleges and senior schools.”
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Javed Akhtar came across as a staunch feminist yet again when he outraged defending the Nirbhaya documentary saying, "It is good this documentary has been made, especially if it makes hundreds of men in Hindustan realise that they’re thinking like a rapist when they say a woman invites trouble by dressing a certain way or walking the streets late at night." With that he totally claimed his stature as a feminist man.
Director of the much talked about short film ‘My choice’ staring Deepika Padukone and 98 other women, Homi Adajania set out to create a powerful image of women. But while the film failed to make an impact considering it packaged feminism rather seductively, Adajania still manages to win some points for attempting a film that voices women’s right to choice. In his own faltered way, he still is a man making a feminist statement.
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