Pankaj Tripathi got talking about the need for bringing up daughters in empowering ways and on an equal footing with boys, in a recent interview. The actor opened up about his wife Mridula Tripathi and him having created a democratic atmosphere for his daughter to grow up in, and how this has a positive impact on children. Pankaj also challenged the discriminatory idea that women are less capable, and said that women are more evolved than men.
Opening up about his parenting methods, Pankaj told Hindustan Times, "I always tell my daughter that we can only guide you from our experience. The day you become an adult, you will explore the world and live your life on your own terms. I can only give her guidance; it is upto her to accept it or reject it. Agar aap unhe freedom dete hain aur ek democratic mahaul dete hain, toh voh kuch gadbad kaam nahi karengi (If you give them freedom and create a democratic atmosphere, they will not mess up)."
"Ladkiya kya nahi kar rahi hain aaj. Yeh soch bilkul uchit nahi hai. (What are girls not doing these days. This kind of thinking is not valid at all). It is wrong to think like this. Women are far more evolved than men," he added.
Pankaj recently starred in the biopic Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, based on the life of Gunjan Saxena, Indian Air Force's first female pilot to fly into combat. He played the role of Gunjan's father Anup Saxena, and was praised for his performance as a motivating, empowering father.
Talking about how he was able to relate to the character, he said, "Script padhte hue mujhe lagaa tha ki main ladkiyo ke liye aisi hi duniya chahta hoon (As soon as I read the script, I felt like this is the kind of world I want girls to grow up in). I felt as if those thoughts which I was reading on paper were my own. Main chahta hoon ki har pita Gunjan Saxena ke pita jaisa ho."
Gunjan Saxena starred Janhvi Kapoor in the titular role, and Angad Bedi playing her brother. The film was directed by Sharan Sharma.