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A man troubled her, harassed her and forced her to marry him. None but TV Actress Nilani herself had to pay the price for all the madness.
Trigger alert: This post contains discussions & descriptions of suicide.
The reality of the entertainment industry in India – how challenging it is, especially for women, as compared to all the glamour attached to it, has often been shown in movies and spoken about in articles and books. But with so many new harassment cases coming into the light, it’s now hard to believe actresses’ smiles on screen, as a lot of pain, sorrow and suffering is often masked behind those enchanting smiles.
An example of the same in the recent case of TV actress Nilani’s suicide attempt reported from Chennai. She is well known for her performance in TV serials, a couple of them being Mahabharatham and the recent Sivagami. Being a single mother of two daughters, her life had its own challenges. But adding to her woes was the Assistant Director Gandhi Lalitkumar.
According to news sources, Nilani was continuously harassed for almost two years by Lalitkumar, insisting that she marry him. Such men’s ego is so huge that they just can’t take ‘no’ for an answer. So, he didn’t give up but kept on pestering her. She suffered in silence, but one day unable to have her mental peace disturbed any longer, she lodged a complaint with the police.
For a guy like Lalitkumar who was so full of himself and failed terribly to comprehend a simple no, this move of an outright rejection by Nilani was a huge blow. In order to teach her a lesson, Lalitkumar set himself ablaze and died due to burns. That is when Nilani’s problems escalated. She had to pay the price for standing up for herself.
Society started blaming Nilani for the suicidal death of Lalitkumar. On local media and especially on social media people started jeering her by passing very rude comments. It’s not easy to even think about ending one’s own life. A person must have undergone a lot to take such a drastic step. With Lalitkumar it was self-imposed. But people’s mockery led to Nilani wanting to end her life.
You see, the world is not a place for a woman who wants to fight and set her life’s course straight. It’s not a place for a woman with a voice and mind of her own. All attempts would be made to silence her and forcefully, make her head held high, bend down in shame.
With all the unwanted intrusion by men, how can women like Nilani ever have the basic freedom to peacefully lead their lives? Though Nilani was not wrong in lodging a complaint nor did she have any regrets about her actions, society made her vulnerable.
A man was alive, he troubled her. And then he died, and even after his death, he created more problems for her. Whether people live or die, women’s problems never seem to end. They are often blamed for mistakes which are not truly theirs.
For me, the biggest take away from this case for all other women out there is, if you decide to stand up for yourself, then the walk is going to be on very rough trails. But never ever think of giving up fighting midway. Keep going. The world will take up it’s unwanted talking, we need to harden ourselves. Turn a completely deaf ear and continue doing what you feel is right.
Image Source – Star Kitchen, YouTube
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, here are some more of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022-27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044-2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033-2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080–25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040-66202000, 040-66202001
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