Mallika gets the Padman sanitary pad challenge right Image: Facebook
Have you kept a count of the number of celebs who've taken the Padman sanitary pad challenge? Let's see... Aamir Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna, Akshay Kumar (of course), Alia Bhatt, Ravi Shastri, Shabana Azmi, Ayushmann Khurrana, Radhika Apte... the list keeps increasing every day.
As much as we appreciate the message Akki wants to spread (like wings) with this, did any of you feel they were getting a bit too gimmicky for their own good? TBH, we did. But not until Mallika Dua put our thoughts to words did we realise the sheer impact of it.
Mallika, in a long Insta story, took a not-so-subtle jibe at Padman Akshay and his entire sanitary pad-brandishing squad. She said, "Always remember, each time you feel weak, each time you feel lesser than your equals, when you feel the society and the govt have not given you your due, each time you feel you've been made to feel lesser for no reason and that the fight has just about begun...Hold up a sanitary pad and post a picture of it on Instagram. You will feel empowered. So empowered. Bye."
Because that is ALL we need to do to be empowered. Each time we are letched at while travelling in public transport, just hold up a sanitary pad. Each time we are sneered at for stepping out of a watering hole with our guy friends, just hold up a sanitary pad. Each time you are slyly told to compromise to move up the corporate ladder, just hold up a sanitary pad.
Don't get us wrong, killing the taboo around periods is important, it is a deep-rooted prejudice that has spread like cancer cells through our society. But holding up a sanitary pad on social media is not an answer, simply because social media is a tool for educated urban people. The issue Padman, Akshay and Twinkle are trying to address is essentially an evil prevalent in the rural and backward areas of India.
If a Kumud or Binti or Parul of a village in the far end of the country had the power to Instagram, we'd have way more Kardashians here.
PS: Please don't relate Mallika's expression to her earlier spat with Akshay on the sets of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. Both issues are important, yet mutually exclusive.