It’s one thing to obsess over casual celeb-related gossip, involving their social life and work, and totally another to open it up to public scrutiny. Recently, Alia Bhatt announced that she was pregnant on Instagram, opening, as expected, a can of worms. As tinsel town and fans gathered to congratulate her and new hubby, Ranbir Kapoor, many others flocked to start a guessing game. Questions around how she’s expecting so soon after their marriage began making the rounds, and social media was suddenly abuzz with comments on Bhatt’s career choices. It does force us to ask, why is this a big deal?
Bhatt, who got married to Kapoor in April, shared the news of her pregnancy within two months of the wedding, leading some individuals to assume that the reason behind their relatively intimate and quiet affair, was the pregnancy. In other words, conjecturing if the two had a ‘shotgun’ wedding — a colloquial term used when couples decide to tie the knot upon learning that they’re pregnant. Unsolicited comments about how she will wrap up her Hollywood project and the Hindi film she’s currently working on began surfacing online.
Bhatt addressed the reports, calling out what is clearly coverage with a touch of patriarchy. And while she handled the situation pretty well, these incidents make us wonder why even in 2022, India would rather discuss something as personal as an individual’s pregnancy more vehemently than say, the Roe vs Wade case. Of course, the very next thought that comes to mind, is the lack of acceptance when it comes to pre-marital pregnancies. And Bhatt isn’t the first star to fall victim to this regressive culture.
Back in April, when Dia Mirza announced her pregnancy, soon after she got married to Vaibhav Rekhi, trolls slammed her, because she was only 44 days into the marriage. Natasa Stankovic and Neha Dhupia, too, were under the limelight after their pregnancy announcements for similar reasons.
This is obviously not a recent phenomena. Earlier, celebs like Konkana Sen Sharma, Sridevi, Sarika, and Celina Jaitely have also been questioned about their pre-marital pregnancies. Sen Sharma had announced hers soon after she got hitched to Ranvir Shorey.
Sridevi was possibly the only actress, who at the time, had admitted to getting pregnant with Janhvi Kapoor before marrying Boney Kapoor. She was seven months pregnant when the two tied the knot. Sarika, on the other hand, was in a live-in relationship with Kamal Haasan when she conceived Shruti Haasan. The couple got married later and welcomed their second child during their marriage.
Our country has arrived at a stage, where evolution has meant having a Starbucks at every corner. But we know that it really has more to do with the formation of a collective conscience that’s informed, equitable and renewed. Our obsession with unplanned or pre-marital pregnancies goes to show that we’re far away from that. As for those dolling out unsolicited advice to Alia Bhatt, they’d do good to remember Mirza’s advice: Not your uterus, not your business.
(Featured Image Credits: Instagram @aliabhatt)