It is proving to be quite challenging to prevent the usage of any expletives in this article and I shall try my level best but man, we really messed up; and no, this isn’t an article outlining some blatant government error, some strange mishap which was an isolated error. No. We messed up, it was us, the people, collectively who really got it wrong this time. It was us, the people, who allowed Bollywood to grow and become one of the largest film industries in India and along with it, we allowed some vile features of the said industry grow such as the objectification of women in Indian movies. Yet, this article isn’t even about the objectification of women, that is an issue for another article. This article is about the obscene portrayal of ‘how to woo women’ i, the flagrant glorification of stalking and harassment in quite a few Bollywood films. These movies have provided us with such repugnant examples that absolute shame becomes the sole emotion invoked upon watching these films. Yes, it is the responsibility of the audience to recognize that these depictions are purely fictional but let’s face it, that is not happening in the slightest, here is an instance to prove my point –
The first instance was brought to light by AIB, yes, the comedy group. What essentially took place was that in 2015, an Indian man in Tasmania was tried in court for stalking and harassing two women. His lawyer argued that he was influenced by Bollywood movies wherein stalking is a means to ‘woo women’ and that his intentions were to make the women fall in love. He won the case upon examination of Bollywood by the said court and got away scot-free.
Now let us try to examine through which on-screen depictions this core misconception arose –
Firstly, the famous music video of the song ‘O Laal Dupatte Wali’, a hit 1992 song starring Govinda and Chunky Pandey. Now for those of you who haven’t had the ‘privilege’ of seeing this masterpiece; let me summarize it for you in a single phrase – ‘Musical Molestation’. As in, women are being molested and there is in music in the background. Let me remind you that this song was the hit song of the 90’s and to this date is called iconic. I feel that there is only a single word in the English dictionary capable of aptly describing this successful number: nauseating.
Now coming to quite possibly the most memorable romantic film that the industry has produced; DDLJ. I am not hating on the acting or the story as I feel both have merit, just one particular scene. The impact this movie had on children was unfathomable, with generations being moved by the film, boys and men would don the epochal Shah Rukh Khan pose whilst humming the tune of the title track and the movie, in general, seemed too good to be true, except one scene. The scene at hand was the one where Raj, the protagonist, is attempting to win the heart of Simran, who he just met, by almost forcing himself onto her in a train. I mean, really? Such sleaze for such a monumental film?
Concluding this article was, in fact, a breeze as compared to others that I have penned. I do not want to make a point about the need to be responsible, protect the women of our country or try to salvage the crumbling global reputation of India. I don’t want to stress on how, we, as viewers of such nonsense in some Bollywood films, must work together to change the way such movies glorify harassment. All I want to say is, Congratulations Bollywood. Congratulations to all of us. Congratulations to India.
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