Bollywood has almost always normalised stalking. Be it Varun Dhawan’s attempts to woo Alia Bhatt in Badrinath Ki Dulhania, or Akshay Kumar following Bhumi Pednekar and clicking her photographs without her consent in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha or Shah Rukh Khan singing the famous Tu haan kar ya na kar, tu hai meri Kiran — our films often tells stories that highlight stalking.
Actress Swara Bhasker, who appeared in Raanjhanaa, admitted that the Aanand L. Rai directorial glorified stalking. “When it came out, it got panned by feminists for glorifying stalking… For a long time, I refused to believe it and thought that it is not true… But then as time passed by, I was like, actually, maybe yes,” she said when she joined actress Kareena Kapoor Khan for an episode of her radio show.
Social activist Ranjana Kumari blames cinema for creating a culture of stalking women. “They show that initially women say ‘No’ but don’t take ‘No’ for a ‘No’. It is actually a ‘Yes’. It has been there since long. Stalking has been packaged in a romantic way. It conveys the superiority that men have over women. She, in any case, has to give in. It is a myth that is being perpetuated by creating this culture… She is still an object of his desire,” Kumari said.
According to psychologist Samir Parikh, films have an impact on people at some level or the other. “When you see something being presented in a palatable manner to you, you feel it is okay to do it, so you get desensitised to it. You get disinhibited and it changes your perception of reality. People, especially youngsters and vulnerable ones, end up doing what they see their role models doing. It is important to educate and upgrade people and give them the right support and guidance,” Parikh said.
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First Published: Feb 14, 2019 11:44 IST
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