Is the urban Muslim society in India heading for a change in sync with times vis-à-vis the role of its women in society and the arts?
The answer to that, hopefully, is 'Yes'.
The prime basis of this assumption is, of course, the overwhelming support Muslim women all over India have given to the central government's recent move to abolish the triple talaaq system, with a special five-judge panel of the Supreme Court of India endorsing the move and recommending that the government ban the unconstitutional practice by enacting a law. And in the midst of this sensational move to grant Muslim women their much-deserved emancipation from an age-old social evil comes another indication that India's urban Muslims may be opening up to the march of time: Secret Superstar, the movie.
With actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan throwing his weight behind the film as its producer and star, debutant director Advait Chandan's Secret Superstar is the story of brave and ambitious Insiya, a young Muslim girl - played by 17-year-old Zaira Wasim of Dangal fame - who aspires for musical stardom.
The urban Muslim society has often had to field accusations of not moving with the times, especially in providing opportunities to its women, though the last four decades or so have seen a marked improvement. The enforced cloistering of Muslim women in occupation and the arts is hopefully entering its final lap, and Secret Superstar, a league different from the orthodox Muslim socials popular in the late-60s and early-70s - Mere Mehboob and Mehboob Ki Mehndi come to mind - may serve as a clarion call heralding its end.