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Dil Chahta Hai actress apologises for "lazy women" remark

Sonali Kulkarni

Mumbai: Bollywood actress Sonali Kulkarni apologised for "lazy women' remark. She said her intention was not to hurt other women. She also thanked those who reached out to criticise and appreciate her words.

The Dil Chahta Hai actress was speaking at an event when she said, "In India, we, at times, forget that a lot of women are just lazy". She said these women rely on a boyfriend or husband who earns well. "They want a boyfriend or husband, who earns well, owns a house and gets regular increments. But, in the middle of this, women forget to make a stand for themselves. Women don't know what will they do. I urge everyone to bring up such women in your houses that are able and can earn for themselves. Who can say that yes, we want a new fridge in the house, you pay for half of it, I will pay the other half."

She went on to side with men and said they work hard and start earning at a young age. "I think when men boys turn 18, they have this pressure on them that the studies and fun are about to get over and now you have to earn. I feel like crying for my brothers and my husband. He got selected from the campus interview when he was all of 20 and he started earning."

The remarks enraged a lot of people and they slammed Sonali for being blind to the women's situation and achievements in the country. Some said that the actress is suffering from the delusion of the modern career woman.

Author Paromita Bardoloi said only privileged upper-caste women can say such things. "Look at women in this country. The amount of unpaid labour women do almost feels criminal. She needs to read the Govt data on what women go through in this country. Sit down, Miss Kulkarni."

Singer Sona Mahapatra retweeted the writer's comment and wrote: "True and truly sad. Check the matrimonial columns-wanted, good looking, educated, earning, 'homely'; take care of in-laws, Hh duties & hand over monthly salary type of ad's. Double whammy. The ‘insight' she has is lazy & should have been qualified such - in my circles."

Stand-up comedian Kajol Srinivasan said she will not share Sonali's "trash video" because it angers her. She said: "You can't call all women lazy when the gender equality balance is so skewed. Yes, there are women who want to marry wealthy. But most women in this country aren't given education or the freedom to work."

Sonali shared a note on Instagram in which she said she is apologising for unknowingly hurting the sentiments of women.

She wrote: "I'm overwhelmed with the feedback I'm receiving. I would like to thank all of you, especially the entire press and media for the extremely mature conduct of connecting with me. Being a woman myself my intention was not to hurt other women. In fact, I have extensively expressed myself time and again in support of us and what is it to be a woman. I'm grateful to all of you for reaching out to me personally to appreciate or to criticise. Hope we will be able to have more open exchange of thoughts."

"In my capacity, I am trying to think, support and share warmth not only with women but with the entire mankind. It will be only strengthening if we women with our vulnerabilities and wisdom shine through as fair and able beings. If we are inclusive and empathetic, we will be able to create a healthier, happier place to be," she added.

"Having said that, if unknowingly, I may have caused pain, I want to apologise from the bottom of my heart. I do not thrive upon headlines neither do I want to be the centre of sensational situations. I'm a diehard optimist and I strongly believe that life indeed is beautiful. Thanks for your patience and support. I have learned a lot from this incident," wrote the actress.

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