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Richa Chadha: Ambition still a negative word

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Bollywood seems to be caught up in a kind of gender war. Actresses are raising their voices against pay disparities, the prevalent patriarchy and the difficult route to success for women in showbiz.

And, as actress Richa Chadha says, the word “ambition” still has negative connotations when used for women, although she herself doesn’t pay heed to “labels given by men or women”.

She is positive about the transition from actor to producer.

“I don’t care how people react to it, because I don’t see it as anything other than positive. I think the prevalent gender stereotype is ambition, still a bad word when it’s applied to a woman, and a great quality when it’s an adjective for a man. I don’t care about labels given by men or women actually,” said Richa.

“It’s not a desire specific to gender. I’d like to be able to say what I want, through the content I support,” she added.

Talking about her production, the actress said: “It is a short film that my friend Rupinder Singh brought to me. It’s set in the late 1980s and early 1990s in a small village in Punjab where common people got caught in the crossfire between Khalistanis and the state. It moved me since I have a personal association with that. Also, it felt like the right thing to do support this film.”

Richa, who is known for gravitating to content-driven cinema, asserted: “My name may not carry weight, but I know it carries credibility and I wanted to use that to spread the word about this short film.”

The actress, who wants to back “interesting” projects as a producer, is a bag of nerves over the project, but is confident that she will improve with each production.

“This is my first experience as a producer/presenter. It is very different from acting, because as an actor, you primarily only care about your job,” she said.

“I am sure I will learn about the challenges as I move on to bigger projects. This one was smooth. But because it’s my first time, I am trying to figure out how to submit this short to as many festivals as possible.”

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