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In Bollywood, stalking is shown as love. But can we get it clear, Shahrukh in Darr or Dhanush in Ranjhanaa were stalking the girls. It's a criminal offense.
In Bollywood, stalking is shown as love. But can we get it clear, Shahrukh in Darr or Dhanush in Ranjhanaa were stalking the girls. It’s a criminal offense.
Raise your hand if you have ever seen a Bollywood movie where the concepts of stalking and romantic love were used interchangeably. If you grew up in the nineties, chances are a lot of the hit movies you saw were based on this insane idea that having a stalker is just fine as long as he claims to love you. Remember the song ‘Tu haan kar ya naa kar, tu hai meri Kiran‘ (whether you say yes or no, you are mine, Kiran) from the movie Darr. The song and Shahrukh Khan’s portrayal of crazed stalker captured more imaginations across the country than set any fear in them.
This spills into real life in several damaging ways. Men all over the country believe it is perfectly acceptable to harass and stalk and threaten women. They see it is a normal path to some sort of romantic relationship. Part of this attitude also comes from a culture that idolizes the idea of ‘modesty’, ‘honor’ and ‘reluctance’ on part of women. Women are never supposed to ‘want it’ and so the men ‘have to force them’. Once again, ideas of what good girls and women are supposed to be like are used as justification. Consensual sex in Bollywood is seen as dirty and contrary to our ideals; forced sex, rape as a tool of revenge, rape as a reason for a woman’s suicide, on the other hand are all seen as absolutely fine.
In a real life case of an Indian man in Australia, who escaped a stalking conviction after claiming his behavior was normal as per Bollywood movies.
If you think this is crazy, read this real life case of an Indian man in Australia, who escaped a stalking conviction after claiming his behavior was normal as per Bollywood movies. It isn’t as if the movies or our real life has left this attitude in the nineties. A recent example is that of the movie Raanjhanaa rather misleadingly and ridiculously described as a romantic drama film and a story of a ‘small-town boy who needs to break through the class divide to gain acceptance from his childhood sweetheart who is in love with big city ideals‘. These descriptions, the normalization of this behavior, the popularity of these movies in a country that pretty much pays scant attention to what women want, is a dangerous combination. Men routinely stalk and harm women – think of all the news articles you read about acid attacks and stabbings by ‘spurned lovers’. Aggressive ‘macho’ men are seen as the ideal – I have lost count of the number of forced kisses I have seen on film (Ishq comes to mind to start with), normalizing the man continuing while the women resists. So here’s my suggestion for all of you: don’t watch these movies without any reservations, call out sexism and rape culture when you see it, men and women and everyone across the gender spectrum remind yourself and each other that consent is good and sexy. Question the friends in movies who act coy and encourage the stalker and tell the woman being flattered to take it as a compliment. Remember men can get stalked as well, but it happens more often to women and has more harmful consequences for them. Stop glamorizing stalking as some sort of romantic ideal and call it out for what it is: a criminal act.
Cover images via Wikipedia
I think of myself as a feminist development practitioner with a strong interest in issues related to gender and education. I enjoy writing about my interests, a happy step forward from the angst laden poetry read more...
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
Recent footage of her coming out of an airport had comments preaching karma and its cruel ways, that Samantha "deserved her illness" because she filed for divorce.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu fell from being the public’s sweetheart to a villain overnight because she filed for divorce. The actress was struck with myositis post divorce, much to the joy of certain groups (read sexist) in our society.
A troll responded to Samantha’s tweet, “Women Rising!!” by adding to it “just to fall”. She replied, “Getting back up makes it all the more sweeter, my friend.”
Here’s another insensitive tweet by BuzZ Basket showing fake concern for her autoimmune disease. “Feeling sad for Samantha, she lost all her charm and glow. When everyone thought she came out of divorce strongly and her professional life was seeing heights, myositis hit her badly, making her weak again.” Samantha responded, “I pray you never have to go through months of treatment and medication like I did. And here’s some love from me to add to your glow.”
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