Exclusive: Shoojit Sircar Clarifies His Stand on Joint Families

Director Shoojit Sircar clarifies his tweet about supporting the joint family set up.

3 min read
Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar.

Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar recently created a mini storm on Twitter with his tweet that apparently romanticised the joint family system.

“All may not agree, but we must move back to our old way of living like joint families.. This may be the only solution/Medicine to curb all mental insecurities, loneliness and most important depression. Family umbrella secures our Mind.” is what Shoojit tweeted on 5th March.

Since then the filmmaker has made a follow up tweet stating that he only had a progressive like-minded family or community in mind. I spoke to Shoojit to clear the air about what exactly he had in mind when he tweeted about the benefits of having a joint family set up, here’s what he said:

“I clarified my stand with a follow-up tweet. I did not mean to create a gender bias or anything of the sort. As a filmmaker, I am fully aware of the patriarchal society which we have come through and which is still in existence. All I meant to say was about a progressive family and community that just helps the mind.”

“I myself have gone through this and I have friends who are grappling with mental health issues. They all are coming from fear, insecurity, loneliness, being ambitious and of course the people around, the digital world and social media, it’s coming from various things.”
Varun Dhawan with Shoojit Sircar on the sets of <i>October.</i>
Varun Dhawan with Shoojit Sircar on the sets of October.

“For example, there is no medicine for insecurity, there is no medicine for fear, there is no medicine for loneliness. Yes, people are now saying depression is a disease and there is a medicine. But, I have spoken to a lot of psychiatrists. For all my films I consult psychiatrists and doctors. Especially for October I met a lot of doctors and they have said there have just been very few magical cures in which people by just being happy have transformed their lives. So, the thought generated from there of having a family security, I did not mean it in the way of a patriarchal society.”

“I thought people will understand that my heart is in the right place, my words have been taken in a slightly different note, maybe I should have crafted my tweet better. But my heart was in the right place for people who are going through mental illness, they need a lot of support system in terms of having people around them.”

“I have shuttled between Mumbai, Kolkata and lived in Delhi, I have seen what the present generation is going through, that was the reason for this particular tweet.”

“By joint family, I meant a community of support not the conventional patriarchal family set up. In a lot of places, people are practising community living, because that gives them a lot of support system mentally also. So, there are many groups who are trying to create a community among themselves and live on their own.”

“My tweet was not meant to hurt women. I have daughters, I have a wife, I run my own kitchen, I don’t have a cook. People think I am a filmmaker but I shoot for only two months a year, and the rest of the ten months I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I understand what pain women go through.”

Let’s hope Shoojit’s clarification puts this controversy to rest.

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