Water widow knows no fear


Downplaying protests, Indian actress Lisa Ray said she didn’t believe the controversy surrounding her new film on widows — treated harshly under Hindu tradition — was justified.

Hindu nationalists protested the filming of Water, forcing it to be shot in neighboring Sri Lanka. They said the movie insulted Hindu traditions.

“I don’t feel any fear,” Ray, a top model, told the DNA newspaper on November 7, ahead of the Indian release of Water later this month.

Directed by well-known Indian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, Water premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

“Don’t see the film if you don’t like it, but don’t stop others from seeing it,” said Ray who plays the lead role of a widow in the movie. “I don’t see anything objectionable in Water.”

The film portrays the difficult life of child widows in India in the 1930s.

Under ancient Hindu tradition, widows were considered bad luck and sometimes even blamed for their husbands’ death.

Remarriage of widows was frowned upon — although tlere were no such social barriers for widowers. The movie focusses on a home for widows where they were sent by their families.

Mehta has denied the film is anti-Hindu and said it revolved around a widow who defied social stigma and sought to lead a normal life.