Every day we wake up to ghastly incidents like a minor girl raped, a 3year old raped, a 40 year old raped, journo gang raped, medical student gang raped, law/media interns sexually harassed, school girl molested by her own teacher, minister exploits airhostess sexually, college girl eve teased so on and so forth. Have we ever wondered why?
This rapidly rising rape statistics is a grim reminder of the casual nature of our
- Law upholding forces, the politicians who cannot take tough stands to handle crimes against women
- The casual normalization of vulgarity in the name of creativity and modernisms by mass media and most importantly
- The callous attitude of the film fraternity who play a massive role in shaping the minds of a vulnerable and highly impressionable society.
Every other news channel is busy covering the verdict on the Mumbai rapists, they name it as Mumbai’s shame, Delhi’s shame, Kolkotta’s shame etc, at the lok sabha they scream their lungs out demanding more reservation for women, the national leaders talk about women empowerment et al but just then paradoxically an erotic commercial with a bikini clad model breaks in diluting all that serious shit and calls out all the hairy men of India for an AXE EFFECT BOAT PARTY reducing women absolutely to nothing more than a piece of fleshy oomph.
All the feminists and FOE activists might jump and say I dare not teach our women how to dress and brand me radical, saffron, pink, blue, burgundy or yellow but the point is when you cannot enforce curt laws, when you cannot ensure the safety of our women, when you cannot educate filthy mindsets in an unequal society with varied laws for different people, when you cannot and don’t want to differentiate between vulgarity and creativity you have no business to mislead people into believing that it is okay to wrap yourself in a handkerchief and call yourself modern and broad minded.
If modernism had anything to do with flaunting bare skin then the textile industry would be in utter chaos but I see today’s pseudo modernism as more of an invisible cultural scam inflicted on us with shallow thoughts but deep with repercussions on the moral fabric of our society because modernism after all is not skin deep that can be ascertained by one’s outfit, unlike poverty it is in fact truly a state of mind. I wonder how relevant this boat party is to those Indians who queue up their buckets for their daily dose of water. How disconnected is it from the real India where rural and urban womenfolk are found walking in fully clad salwar kameez or jeans t shirts and not in bikinis yet these very women feel unsafe in the society largely because of the way in which women are portrayed as nothing more than sexual objects especially in cinema!
This post is not about what people should wear but certainly about how and why are women portrayed as only a sexual commodity in the most important mediums of visual communication that impacts millions of minds.
What social responsibility are these mass mediums meeting by resorting to unnecessary nudity and vulgarity to capture audience?
What impact will this kind of content have on hairy rickshawwalas, rag pickers, sweepers, security guards, barbers, coolies or truck drivers and numerous other educated or uneducated folks who cannot in any way conceive the cleavage or the slit in the skirt as creative freedom? Will these kind of ads make them swell in pride that India is fast developing and becoming all modern, empowering women to shed clothes equally or will they hallucinate that appeal from every other girl walking down the street?
The visual media should come out of its bigotry along with the CBFC(censor board) which consists of our bollywood and many other regional woods surely has a lot of responsibility on its shoulders in entertaining, educating and in bringing out the real India and real issues out without tinkering with the ethical etiquettes of people from all strata.
The detailed visuals of a rape and violence against women in cinemas, incessant coverage of rape, molestation cases, acid attacks and murders and portrayal of women as easily accessible sexual objects in skimpy clothes have only ragingly augmented similar kind of crimes across the nation. While awareness is good, it is the punishments meted out to these criminals that should be highlighted more than the gruesome crime so that a strong message is sent.
Even film personalities have an important responsibility towards the society as their claims and choices have a large impact on millions of fans. How many celebrities really think about contributing some social good other than their personal gains? The CBFC the wing of Information and Broadcasting ministry is a toothless tiger that can hardly make a decisive impact and is subject to brutal bullying by the media houses and creative evangelists in case it chooses to act but whether we like it or not the fact is that the growing crime rate of sexual crimes against women is to a great extent the result of poor portrayal of women in the obnoxious Bollywood masalas.
In a recent Bollywood flick Dabbang 2 Salman the macho policeman takes his younger brother to an A grade cabaret in a red light area as a mark of celebration for his machogiri, it is A grade because it is Kareena who swings sways and thrusts hard for a Fevicol, oblivious to the fact that she is portraying women as piece of fleshy shit when men get high.
Another film Dhoom3 has Katrina performing an Indianized strip tease to hook a job offer even as many Munnis and Chemelis and Sheelas roller coast their silicon assets, the white junior artists swirl and shake their best, making it an uncomfortable affair to be watching a Bollywood flick with family. And then there is Honey Singh who has outdone all of them with an Indianized Bay Watch doing a ‘pani pani’, while the video with its outright lewd appeal is by no means artistic creativity, the liberals may argue that even Helen or Zeenat Aman in the 70s were more brazenly bold(Read vulgar). But the fact remains that Indian cinema indulges in one of the most excessive objectification of women and there are reports to suggest the same hence one cannot deny it to suit their concocted narratives. This concoction is setting a dangerous precedent by normalizing obscenity and portraying women as easily accessible and loose sexual objects, at least this is what an unsophisticated mind perceives, this is how women are going to be viewed and approached by the adolescent genre largely because of visual media and cinema. To add to this the obsession to achieve equality in mere celluloid with those unrealistic concoctions of love stories between a poor roadside rag picker and a high class babe are giving a high to the local bus cleaners, rag pickers, security guards and rickshawalas to hit on every jeans tee clad girl or woman for that matter with their lusty eyes. Equality can be achieved with economic policies and social reforms on ground with administrative difference and not by mere shrill love stories in the air.
Today all leading actresses who are often role models to millions choose obscenity and immorality as a shortcut to fame and money in the name of glamor and freedom, often confusing and contradicting a society that is far away from the what is projected on the celluloid. A Rape or sexual harassment is definitely a result of an inhuman sick mindset devoid of moral values lacking any kind of respect for a woman but when this crime rate is directly proportional to the amount of obscenity and nudity being thrust upon the ingenuous impressionable masses day in day out by the visual media, Bollywood and many other woods, it is a mockery if these same people were to talk of women empowerment and justice for rape victims.