The female journalist in Bollywood: middle-class career woman or problematic national heroine?
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On the screen as in reality, female journalists in India have historically struggled to gain equality with their male peers. But a slew of recent Bollywood films depicting female reporters indicate that change may be afoot, as Sukhmani Khorana discusses
Growing up during India’s economic and communications ‘revolution’, my young mind revelled in the promise of a career in journalism that would serve both the aspirational self and the modernising nation. A role model emerged in Barkha Dutt, the independent yet feminine reporter at the still-credible New Delhi Television (NDTV). I recall her fearless stint in the trenches during India’s war with Pakistan in the mountains of Kargil (in the militancy-affected territory of Kashmir). To my fifteen-year-old eyes, this was not the beginning of embedded journalism in India. Rather, it was a milestone for aspiring and working Indian female journalists with a serious interest in hard news. No longer were we to be confined to the pages of Femina (a women’s magazine) or a Doordarshan (India’s national broadcaster) news studio.