Wednesday, July 12, 2017

When will Bollywood understand it's not Okay to Stalk a Woman

Stalking and romanticizing in Hindi cinema is not something new. It is one of those strong pillars that holds the genre of romance pretty strongly in Bollywood. But time and again, haven’t we all thought about it to ourselves, stalking and showing love is not romantic, it is creepy. 
India, is a country where movies are everyone’s go-to entertainment, whatever the movies show leaves an impact on the society. But for decades, Bollywood has been making superstars out of stalkers cum aashiqs who constantly pursue their love interest in ways that may seem cute but are totally creepy. 
However, looks like Bollywood is not listening to any of the criticism that stalking-for-love receives in today’s time. 
The most recent example that glorifies this creepy practice, which very much exist in the real world, is the song ‘Hans Mat Pagli’ from Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar’s upcoming film: Toilet – Ek Prem Katha. 
You should probably see the video before reading further: 
This practice of stalking and singing songs has been a part of the Indian film industry since a very long time. 
Shammi Kapoor 
Back in the 60s, superstar Shammi Kapoor, danced and flirted in front of the heroine, who intitally rejected him but was won over when she found his real worth. Audience clapped and enjoyed every bit of it. THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED! 
Some see it as stalking, for Bollywood fanatics its normal behavior as the movie promotes the idea that a women will fall in love with a man if he pursues her hard enough. 
Darr: A Violent Love Story 
Directed by Yash Chopra, Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla starrer in which Rahul is obsessed with Kiran, who is engaged to Sunil. Rahul engraves Kiran’s name on his chest with a knife and decorates his room with her photos and talks about her with his dead mother. Later, he kidnaps her and forces her to marry him but is killed by Sunil.
This film, made SRK what he is today. Audience championed his character’s cause and shouted in support for him in the fight scenes, and fast tracked the actor into the A-list. 
Over the past 20 years, the strange and creepy Bollywood stalker has evolved from villain to a superstar hero. In Raanjhanaa (2013), starring Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor, Kundan stalks Zoya, cuts his wrists when rejected, then breaks up her wedding. Zoya’s fiancé is beaten to death, and Kundan evenetually dies in pursuit of Zoya, saying he will be born again to fall in love with her. 
Such behavior is nothing but a wrong message to the audience about how to conduct themselves in similar situations. “While Hindi cinema is not realistic.” Some people take it to next level, real life eve teasing and sexual harassment cases have been registered as citizens feel if they pursue a woman hard enough she is bound to fall in love. 
The film that broke all Indian Box Office records. As Forbes notes, “That makes it the most successful opening in the history of India’s prolific, multi-language film industry which makes over a thousand films each year.”
Unfortunately, like many other South films it focuses on the aggressive male character. The film, is billed as an action-adventure romance, an epic drama about two warring brothers and a rebellious warrior woman who is trying to free a queen from prison. The story revolves around a man who stalks and sexually harasses the female warrior until he breaks her spirit and independence. The leader of a powerful guerrilla rebel group tries to fight off his romantic advances, disrobes her, gives her a makeover and in no time, makes her fall in love with him! From then, she is not a warrior anymore. Cinema gold stuff?  Hell, no! 
So how do we get men and boys to adopt a different attitude and behavior when they interact with women and girls? Forcing yourself upon anyone will never get you love. Bollywood needs to understand it, turning a deaf ear anymore will not work.As for Akshay Kumar, we are a little disappointed in you because Toilet- Eik Prem Katha, is a movie made with an intention of a positive change and your consent for stalking or anyone else’s is not right.

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