New Delhi: Actor-writer-director Tigmanshu Dhulia feels the society is going down the drains at present, and says it is imperative to teach children to respect women from the start.
"I think today's society is going down the drains. The value system, the respect for women; I mean we see it every day in papers. The reasons are different and more politically driven, but we will not go down that road now. I would say it is imperative we teach our children to respect women not just from our family or social circle, but women in general.
"We live in well-connected world, but we must strive to revive our value system," Dhulia told IANS in an e-mail.
He also said his generation was very lucky to witness so many things right from telegram to television to the latest technology.
"But today, it has gone down drastically. I think we are a semi feudal-semi colonial society, and we must end that. Only then will we see more respect in the society for women as well as the country," he said.
Dhulia's directorial career includes National Award winning film "Paan Singh Tomar" and "Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster" and his acting prowess was captured brilliantly in projects like "Manjhi - The Mountain Man" and "Gangs of Wasseypur". He is currently seen playing the role of Shah Rukh Khan's father in "Zero".
Dhulia was present at a grand scale theatrical play of Mahabharata from the point of view of Gandhari, Kunti and Draupadi, by students of Mount Litera School International. Following its inquiry-based learning methodology, the play aimed to imbue Indian values in the students and showcase human frailties, character flaws and highlight follies of the great and good of society.
Directed by veteran theatre artist, Kriti V Sharma, the play was larger than life and successfully conveyed the messages of gender equality as well as the importance of rightly managing great power and ego.
Talking about the use of unique teaching methodologies and how important it is to imbibe Indian values in the students, Dhulia said that he studied in a Christian school and later, in perspective, he would wonder why we were not taught mythology.
"At home, we had a more 'cultural' upbringing as my mother was a Sanskrit teacher. So when these students performed the play, I think it was a great endeavour. It teaches children the complexity of values of our society.
"I would say Ramayana and Mahabharta are not religious texts, but rather epic novels where each and every character has flaws. And as humans, we are also flawed. Nobody is perfect, and everybody faces conflicts while growing up. Teaching how to face those conflicts while maintaining our values helps build a better character," Dhulia added.
Directed by Aanand L Rai, "Zero" got a mixed reaction at the box-office with some critics calling the narrative weak, while some tagging the film as best coming from King Khan. The film also stars Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub, Abhay Deol, Sheeba Chaddha and Brijendra Kala.