I was recently asked to collaborate with our friends at UrbanAsian.com for the Showbiz India TV‘s 16th anniversary event in Beverly Hills. The theme of the night was celebrating female empowerment and influential leaders. It was the perfect event for me to get involved!
GirlTalkHQ is all about women’s empowerment, and being an Indian girl myself, it was great to see a network using their platform and an event like this to promote something so important.
The new movie ‘Miss India America’ premiered their trailer during the event, and many of the cast were on hand to talk about how the film shows a different view of beauty pageants, and how the South Asian community is influencing many areas in Hollywood.
Some of my favorite red carpet interviews were singer/songwriter Jahan from Krewella, Tiya Sircar who played a sassy tech wiz in ‘The Internship’, and the hilarious Parvesh Cheena and Rizwan Manji who you may remember from ‘Outsourced’.
I had the chance to ask both the men and women how they felt about some of the horrific events that have been taking place in India over the past few years, and the most common thing they all said was that it is important to speak about these issues, and use whatever platform we have to drive awareness.
The rape case that happened in the back of an Uber car in New Delhi, India, sparked major concern that not enough is being done to crack down on the crime that has become synonymous with India. Since 2012 when the story of the gang rape of a young Indian woman in the back of bus caused outrage by the global media, there have been countless stories of women being mistreated not only by men, but people in authority positions also.
The media has a responsibility to keep reporting these stories and placing pressure on the government to take action. Celebrities and Bollywood stars have been doing their part to create awareness and start campaigns for change.
The fact that Bollywood is so popular in mainstream Hollywood and other regions is a testament to how powerful it can be when we see celebrities take a stand for something.
Actors such as Aamir Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Farhan Akhtar (who was recently named UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador for Asia) and even publications like Femina magazine and Vogue India speak up about women’s empowerment. Heck, even India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to do something about the way women are treated!
It’s easy to brush aside entertainment and say it is meaningless in the face of such important issues, but I have to disagree. In fact, because we live in such a celebrity and entertainment-driven culture, we can look at it as an incredible vehicle of communication to send either a strong or a stupid message.
Seeing the stars at the Showbiz India TV event (including the network’s founder Reshma Dordi whose idea it was to dedicate the network’s birthday celebration to female empowerment) made me realize that everyone can do their part for female empowerment and to change any form of injustice. Whether it is speaking about it in an interview, starting a blog, writing a movie script or donating to a charity.
I personally hope you are inspired and entertained by these interviews, because I can’t wait to team up with Urban Asian again in the future.