Jaya Bachchan, a victim of westernization or a reflection of hypocrisy?

Grandmother Jaya Bachchan tells Navya Naveli “I have no problem if you have a child without marriage”. But why on a public platform?

Is Bollywood the epitome of modernity? Think twice, it promotes only those who are from film families. Does it have a take on true feminism? It discriminates against its female actors and has reduced them from highly regressive to now barely clad item girls.


So why do we look up to Bollywood for our idols and modernity? Bollywood is neither.

The only actor, again an outsider who has ever said and practiced the fact that as an actor we have a responsibility towards the society and people to use the place and power we have been given is the rebellious, highly intelligent Kagana Ranaut.

We all know what the Bollywood bigwigs think of her and how they treat her.

Moving on in the growing polarization milieu Navya Naveli, granddaughter of the first families of Bollywood , both the Kappors and the Bachchans is told on her podcast “ What The Hell Navya” by Grandma Jaya that having a baby out of wedlock is okay with her.

Now if this was a personal bedroom conversation, sure each to his own. But when an icon of the Bachchan family says this to her granddaughter on a public podcast it makes me say “What The Hell Jaya!”

And why? I find India’s obsession with the west and its culture has created a warped sense of modernity and remarks like these just fuel this thought process. Wanting to follow Indian culture and tradition is labelled as backward. And aping the west is forward. Thanks to Bollywood and its soft power, Desi pride continues to diminish.

From being regressive, the portrayal of women has become aggressive to the point of reducing them to those out to prove a point by being the anti-good girl. Hey! Be any girl you want just know are you being played? The web series girl is a classic example of this.

Coming back to Jaya Bachchan, who is known to have been standoffish with the media. The woman who quietly gave up a flourishing career at the peak of stardom to marry Amitabh Bachchan. Shweta Bachchan, the daughter who never stepped into films. If it was a choice, good for her but if it was patriarchy, then seriously the Bachchan khandan needs to do a rain check about their own priorities. Is this a passive aggressive playout by the yesteryears’ superstar by seeming to sound ultra modern by giving such advice to her granddaughter?

What’s worrying is that the public at large gobbles up this content obsessed with a star kid who hasn’t proven herself yet. But this episode on Modern Love has got her crazy hits and clicks making sure the very ordinary merchandise she is trying to sell will go off the racks in a minute. The podcast is fairly new, and is already popular. I mean if I had a Bachchan granny my podcast would also be trending and with comments like these, its ability to capture more eardrums would be going through the roof.

So for the detractors who might think I am being too sanskaari. I disagree, just think for a moment that people actually take this advice. And not everyone comes from the Bachchan Khandan where grannies take to this so cooly. Frankly, I have my doubts if Granny Jaya actually believes this or was saying it for effect.

Imagine a girl from a small district with big city dreams in her eyes. These girls are impressionable and what are we teaching them? That it’s really modern today to want a child out of wedlock. Look at the practical problems that arise out of such a situation. She could be even misguided or taken advantage of by some guy on the pretext of love and having physical relations as suggested by Jaya. Plus the financial, emotional, physical and mental aspects of such a situation. Sitting in the Jalsa palace I am sure granny Jaya didn’t think of any of this.

This is a very serious matter. Morality aside, it is loaded with problems. Even in the west having a child out of wedlock brings numerous problems for women and young girls.

I just want to tell woke Bollywood , please don’t confuse your idea of wanting to ape the west or Navya talking with an American Sitcom drawl as a sign of modernity.

What surprises me is that the Bachchan women never bring up the Bachchan Bahu in their conversations? What’s the deal with that? Does Jaya embrace her famous star bahu Aishwarya Rai as a daughter? Now that would be a sign of true modernity.

Seriously, what Jaya Bachchan had to say was highly pre-mature and irresponsible to broadcast to an entire nation. Your words have far reaching effects and it also reeks of hypocrisy when we look at the dynamics of the extremely archaic functioning of Bollywood and its family.

Jaya Bachchan your granddaughter’s podcast has become the talk of the town because of your irresponsibility. All it makes me say is “What The Hell Bollywood!”