Tag Archives: Priyanka Chopra Jonas


Taslima Nasreen recently tweeted about surrogacy and her tweets created quite a furor. She used words like “readymade babies” and questioned whether the mother has the same feeling towards a child born through surrogacy as she has for a biological child. She questioned the concept of surrogacy and attributed it to poverty.

The good and the bad

Surrogacy on the face of it looks highly immoral. However, people who are not able to have offspring on their own can use this method to become parents. Taslima questioned the need of having one’s own children instead of adopting to selfish narcissistic ego. Well, I slightly beg to differ. If someone is not able to have children on medical grounds, and uses surrogacy, I would not call the person narcissist. I would not call that person anything. One good question can be, “What if someone wants to use surrogacy even if he/she is perfectly healthy?”. The answer to that would be “do not allow that”. And how do we not allow something. By creating a legal framework around it.

Surrogacy in India: What the law says?

Surrogacy in India is highly regulated. Commercial surrogacy which means that the surrogate mother receives compensation, is banned. This ensures that the rich do not resort to surrogacy other than on medical grounds. This also ensures that surrogacy is not a commercial business and is an act of altruism. The law also mandates that the surrogate mother must be a close relative of the would-be parents and the law seeks a “certificate of essentiality” from the would-be parents. Essentially, the law ensures that surrogacy is not misused, and that we do not legitimize the business of renting embryos. I think the heart of the law is in right place.

Were Taslima Nasreen’s comment uncalled for?

Yes, they were. I understand Taslima was lamenting about the social divide. She was concerned about the commercialization of surrogacy. Though the law tries hard that it is only altruistic surrogacy, that is allowed to flourish, and has checks and balances in place, we know that there are ways to get around the law and, in a world, which is so divided between rich and poor, doing that is not really difficult. So, can surrogacy be misused. Yes, it can be. Does it get misused? Yes, it does.

What we need to do?

Surrogacy is a boon for couples who cannot have children. And it is perfectly okay if they want to have their own traits in their children. We shouldn’t call this need a narcissistic urge. We just need to ensure that the law is not bypassed, and that surrogacy is implemented as per the law. The heart of the law seems to be in the right place, and the upholders of it must ensure that it is rightly implemented. And everyone who follows the law is a reasonably good citizen.  

Everything that is wrong with diversity

I recently read an article about Priyanka Chopra saying that some north easterner should have played Marry Kom instead of her in the movie. Some people said it is very brave of her to have acknowledged it publicly. Even when the movie was released, people had raised questions about the casting of the movie. They felt the casting reeked of racism. Notwithstanding that, the film was a huge success.

What troubles me?

What I don’t understand is why people talk good but don’t do good when they have an opportunity. Is it not convenient to say somebody else should have done it instead of not doing it and paving way for someone else? However, is this clinging on to convenience wrong? The question is, why would anyone on earth let go of a great opportunity. Are we born to always make sacrifices and pave way for the less privileged? Even if we do that (make sacrifices), who determines if the opportunity has gone to the deserving. Had the role gone to a north easterner, what was the guarantee that she too wouldn’t have been privileged in her own circle. Are we trying to suggest that regional cinema (regardless of the state) is a perfect merit-driven-talent-recognizing industry? Also, was Priyanka Chopra (at the time of that movie) successful enough to let go of a great script. Wouldn’t she have betrayed herself by doing so had she made the sacrifice. The choice with us is always simple, whoever gets the fish, eats it. And it is perfectly fine if they eat a lot and a lot. They can later say that they should have shown a bigger heart, but at the time of actual doing, not sacrificing is perfectly fine. And why is her acknowledgment being praised? Why some people jump on this pseudo concept of forced diversity and inclusion when in the actuality every human being is hungry for success.

The concept of movies is simple. Actors are cast on their ability to make a film successful. Not to serve any other purpose. The director of the movie felt that Priyanka Chopra was the right choice, so he bet his money on her. He wanted to earn money, so he hired a star. Had he hired someone else, he would have made less money, or the movie would have flopped. He went after success and it is absolutely fair.

Is there anything wrong with Priyanka acknowledging it?

There is nothing wrong, it just seems to suggest that our actions and words don’t align. And it is perfectly fine if they don’t. Priyanka Chopra has become who she has become by utilizing and grabbing every opportunity on her way. She didn’t just settle for Bollywood, she went and achieved success in Hollywood. She has the hunger for success, and she shouldn’t lose that hunger and start making sacrifices because it is what is expected of her (or from every successful person). There is this underlying expectation that successful people should sacrifice so that others can benefit. This notion has been glorified and is the cornerstone of all such debates. Did Priyanka Chopra rely on someone else to give her all the success on a platter. Priyanka made her own way. In a Bollywood that was fascinated with white skin, she made her way and conquered it. Despite all the odds she made it.

So, is the system always fair?

Off course not. The system is tilted. Few people make more money. Few industries make more money. Few countries make more money. It is never perfect. Successful people can indeed change the system through their acts. However, let’s not determine what, when, and how they should do it. It’s only you who should determine when you should become a giver and in what way. Let’s not put a moral baggage of sacrifice on successful people or a moral baggage of accepting things in hindsight. Also, why the onus of bringing change is always on stars. Audience can choose not to watch movies if they find them unfair, but apparently their collective conscience remains unaffected.

Should Priyanka Chopra not give back to Bollywood?

She should if she wants. But let’s not judge her only on the grounds of what she gives back. Let her run after more success. Let her grab more opportunities. Let her be selfish. Let her earn more and more and more money. Her becoming successful (however she defines success) is also bringing glory and global acceptance to Bollywood. Isn’t she becoming successful a reform in itself? Has her success not already fueled change in Bollywood, and dare I say Hollywood? And with regards to reforms and changes that we need in Bollywood, it’s a collective effort and the audience should be the driver above anyone else. Once we (the audience) start making sacrifices, things will fall in place.


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