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Bollywood de-stigmatizing menstruation as government slaps 12% GST on sanitary products
Sanitary products are considered luxury goods in India where only 30 per cent of all menstruating women can afford them.

As a sparing but honest resistance to this lopsided ratio, campaigns like #LahuKaLagaan, #HappyToBleed, #IAmNotDown and #TaxFreeWings are slowly gaining popularity.

At a time like this, films like 'Phullu' give us a reinforced glimmer of hope. The official trailer for 'Phullu' was released on YouTube last Friday, on May 19, and it deals with efforts of a man from a village in helping the beloved women of his community to embrace sanitary napkins and therefore, menstrual hygiene.

It should be mentioned here that the nation woke up to a rather rude shock as we discovered that our legislators –or should I call them conspirators –believe that 'sindoor' or vermillion is more essential to an Indian woman's livelihood than sanitary towels are. The new Goods and Services Tax (henceforth, GST) rates enforceable in the state of India from the 1st of July onwards have revealed that a whopping 12 per cent tax will be applicable on sanitary towels, sanitary napkins and tampons. And, to rub salt into the gaping wound, 'sindoor', 'bindi' and bangles have been declared tax free; is it me or do the GST rates, like everything else under this Rightist-fundamentalist-regime, bear religious color as well?


Anyhow, we Indian women, have been taught not to desire for more and settle or even be grateful for what we get, and so, we celebrate films like 'Phullu' or actor Akshay Kumar and actor-turned-writer (also wife) Twinkle Khanna's upcoming joint venture 'Padman' that deals with the same subject.

'Phullu', a smaller film with lesser known actors like Sharib Ali Hashmi, Jyotii Sethi & Nutan Surya has been directed by Abhishek Saxena where Hashmi plays the lead. Hashmi's Phullu is pained by the daily struggles of women surrounding him and goes from pillar to post in trying to make life a little easier for them, that despite being ostracized. The film is slated for a June 16 release.

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