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02 Mar 2024, Edition - 3154, Saturday

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Soumita Saha: “Lipstick is symbolic representation of Feminism”

Indrani Thakurata


Bengaluru: Lipstick Under My Burkha has finally released. And like many of us, noted singer Soumita Saha celebrates the release of the film too. Soumita literally won hearts of her readers, listeners and followers when she published a blog titled “Celebrating the Release of Lipstick Under My Burkha”. “Lipstick Under My Burkha is not only a film anymore. It is a movement that is willing to free the women of this country from the clutches of societal norms.”

Soumita is one of those Rabindrasangeet exponents who always embraces modern arrangement as long as it does justice to Tagore’s Creation. Soumita is a literary person herself—she is an avid blogger and renowned poet whose poetry and literary pieces have been published on various platforms. Soumita own’s a popular lifestyle blog where she cites a marvellous example of ‘lipstick’ as a symbolic representation of Feminism.

She writes “I am not comparing Ray’s movie with Alankrita’s at all. But it is amazing to see Lipstick as symbolic representation of change and feminism .. We do not necessarily need to to be strong like a man to embrace change and stand for ourselves and actually ditch the “ log kya kahenge ” thought. People did not come to see you when you literally cannot sleep at night, indulged in deep thought and planning how will you manage the expenditure of the last few days of month. People did not buy you the pills you take to cope up with depression. People exist to defame your desire, that is not your fault rather it is natural.”

We catch up with this firebrand singer for a quick chat.

How have you become a part of the campaign, and why are you promoting the cause?

I do not quite know ,how becoming a part of campaign is defined. I would to say , I was immensely hurt when I heard about CBFC banning the movie. I was hurt and it was hard to believe that it has been banned because it questions patriarchy and status quotient. I cannot explain in words, how happy I am because Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha is finally releasing. It is the victory of Feminism. I am celebrating the release because it think it is the best possible gesture to shower my unconditional love and support for the film .

You call this a movement, to free women of societal clutches?

I do. The Movie was not given a certificate from the CBFC for being too ‘lady oriented’. I think this incident is enough to oppose the decision. Secondly, the name attracted my attention. I remember a scene from the movie ‘Jungle Book’ where Mowghli is ready to exhibit his ‘wolf’-trained skill to fight against Sher Khan,while Bagheera tells him to fight like ‘human’. Sticking to your natural self to achieve what you want and walk against the tide is important. ‘Lipstick’ is a highly feminine thing ,and using lipstick as a symbolic representation to explain a movement is a strong message. It literally bears a strong a message that you do not need to fight like a man to oppose societal clutches. You can do that like a woman too .Therefore I think we have enough reasons to call this a movement.

Lipstick is a symbolic representation of feminism here?

Of course , I have seen woman who barely wear makeup. But lipstick is something 90% women wear. (Read I am a lipstick lover ) Lipstick is something that literally adds color to your look. I remember a quote by Anna Warner, “of course ,true beauty comes from within,Lipstick just adds a little pizzazz!”. Lipstick here represents feminism indeed, as I just said. You can comfortably stick to your true self to fight societal clutches and fulfill your desires. Lipstick absolutely represents the fact that you can oppose societal clutches like woman.

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