Suzette Jordan (the Park Street Survivor) dies. A septuagenarian nun gets raped in West Bengal. A child is abused in Ahmedabad in ways that send chills down the spine. And, then there is this documentary – India’s daughters that brought back memories of the braveheart Nirbhaya. (May her soul rest in peace).
I have not seen the documentary yet, except for the wretch and his lawyer’s interviews that were shared on social networking sites. I am not going to say how appalled I am or how women are not respected in our country or how certain men in the world are born evil. No, I am not. Actually I am tired of our media. I am sick and tired of the movies that are shown. I am not surprised at the kind of heinous crimes that are happening like a usual thing. Give me one good reason as to why I should feel surprised or disgusted. Take for instance, Deepika Padukone. This actressflipped when her cleavage became nation’s favourite topic of discussion, thanks to TOI. There was a barrage of open letters (I still don’t get it! Open letters? Seriously? Once you have written/typed something and you put it on Internet, what open and close are you talking about!). And then this, AIB roast happened. Again, I would refrain from commenting on this as I have not seen the show. But, there were a few jibes on the same actress that caught my eye. Jokes that ‘should have appeared in poor taste’ to her when the whole country discussing her cleavage was unacceptable to her. I would rather appreciate Sunny Leone in that aspect. I have not seen her movies but the world knows that she was a porn actress and she is candid about it! An artist can never lead a life in black and white which this lady knows. But my intent to write this post is not that. We have some serious issues here.
Give me one Bollywood movie which saw the rise of a woman protagonist overshadowing her male counterparts. The first name that comes to mind is Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Damini, a movie that was loosely based on a gang rape of a tribal woman. How many more of such kind followed where a woman was shown powerful enough to take down the chauvinistic men who lusted after a woman’s body rather than respecting her? Aah, the second name that comes to mind is Lajja(again by the same director) where four women who suffer the atrocities at the hands of male chauvinists rise like the phoenix showing the world that they better not be antagonized. Gulaab Gang, Bullet Rani and Mardani are the recent ones. But who discusses these movies? It is one time watch for most. But what we still continue to discuss is how Hrithik looked smashing in Bang Bang and how SRK has not lost his charm in Happy New Year or how Bipasha Basu sizzled in horror flick Alone. (Thank God! Bips finally realized that she is apt for horror movies!) or how DDLJ completed some 100 years of love. BULLSHIT!! Worse, the Khan club is still romancing ladies half their age on screen. People, what do you expect from all this? ‘Respect for women’? It is dead.
Cinema is instrumental in creating the psyche of a society which is why there are questions directed towards the artisans of Indian Cinema:
If you directors keep glorifying the biceps and countless packs of the actors and only project women as objects of desire, what kind of a response do you expect from a demented society as ours? Stop behaving like men rule the world! It is the hand that rocks the cradle, that rules the world, morons!!
When you are unable to respect the artistic talents in a woman (except for portraying her well endowed assets), how does this world expect a society to perceive a woman any differently? Show her side of the story to this world. Show the world that there is more to a woman than her pretty face and perfect curves. Have you forgotten movies like Arth and Bhavana?
And a few questions for media,
You share a rapist’s interview with the world. Why? Why do we even have to listen to it? (so that a few devil incarnates like him multiply?) We are not shrinks. At least most of us are not! Instead of berating a person who is already and insanely vicious, why not encourage women to learn self defence? Please don’t earn your bread butter using a lady’s helplessness and hopelessness.
Foreigners who love to make documentaries about India, you are doing a good job. But please don’t tell me that your country does not have the ‘wild wild west’! You have your stories too. Only it is the other country’s story that will earn you perks! Please, everyone has to answer for their actions someday.
A few years back, I watched Mira Nair’s Kama sutra. It is a brilliant movie with an amazing cast ensemble. But since the name is about the forbidden topic, people refrain from discussing it, let alone watch it! Believe me, it is an aesthetically shot movie where no scenes disturb you in the aftermath. However, movies that portray rapes and assaults have a far worse impact on the psyche of a human mind. Be honest when you make this judgement. What disturbs you more? The natural or the unnatural? Somewhere, I feel the media has to be more responsible when it comes to the sorry plight of women today. They need to work towards building a far more powerful image of a woman rather than depicting her as a distraught victim of a society that is still driven by radical views on gender and sex. Probably Quentin Tarantino must consider making movies in India. Remember, Kill Bill’s character Beatrix Kiddo aka the Black mamba aka the Killer Bride? We need her. Now.