The latest thing to rattle the Bachchans is an article in the Mumbai Mirror claiming that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is suffering from tuberculosis of the stomach and has therefore been unable to conceive till now, even though she has been trying to for some time.
To add salt to wound, it mentions that she’s 37 years old and isn’t getting any younger. The article also accuses the Bachchan family of discriminating against the girl child by claiming that they have a very ardent desire of having an heir to the family as soon as possible and that Amitabh Bachchan is especially sold on a grandson!!
The Bachchans - the male Bachchans to be precise - are frothing at the mouth. Bachchan Senior has been droning on about it on his blog (do not underestimate the man's capacity to drone!) and Junior Bachchan on Twitter. Thanks to his (Abhishek Bachchan's) Twitter updates we know that he’s stopped reading Mumbai Mirror, that we (the people) have the ultimate power as we get to decide what should be read & what’s trash, and that Preity Zinta is with him in his fight against Mumbai Mirror. Like we care.
No, I will not talk about whether I think it was right on Mumbai Mirror's part to publish an article that the Bachchans claim is completely fabricated and detestable. I will leave that to the Bachchan men who are spending more time talking about it than they are acting, it seems (though I will say one thing - the article has got people who didn't care whether Aishwarya Rai Bachchan got pregnant at all, saying that she's already 37 & shouldn't wait any longer to have a baby!).
I’m going to talk about that side to the Bachchans that I always knew existed and that this incident has exposed - that they are one of the most sexist families of Bollywood, though they pretend otherwise. What do they say about our true selves coming out by the way we react to & deal with crisis situations?
Both Amitabh & Abhishek Bachchan have been saying the same thing over & over again – “If you want to write something about the men of the house, we will take it. But you cannot write anything derogatory about the women of our house.”
If that is not sexist, what is? Why not let the person who this article attempts to malign, defend herself? Is she not capable of it? In case you haven't noticed, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan hasn’t uttered a single word on this on any social/media platform. Letting the men in her house defend “her modesty” (in the words of Amitabh Bachchan), is she?
Sure, the Bachchan men have every right to defend their family members but they should do so because they are a member of their family and not because they are women. A non-sexist approach would have been to say “You cannot write anything derogatory about any of our family members”.
Do you think the Bachchans would have accepted Aishwarya Rai as part of their family if she had refused to add their last name to her name? I doubt. If someone interviewing Amitabh or Abhishek Bachchan ever refers to Aishwarya as Aishwarya Rai, they never fail to correct him/ her that her name is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (with extra emphasis on 'Bachchan'). Not Aishwarya Rai. Yes, they are sexist like that. But then, I knew it all along.