From ‘Tere Naam’ to ‘Kabir Singh’, there are hundreds of examples when Bollywood has promoted sexual harassment and stalking in the name of love. It breaks our heart how an industry, that leaves an impact on the minds of billions of people, could act so irresponsibly.
Recently Abhay Deol also opened up about one such movie – Raanjhanaa – that glorified sexual harassment and stalking.
There are several films which include a narrative where the hero chases (read: harasses) the heroine until she “falls in love” with him. Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor starrer ‘Raanjhanaa’ revolves around a similar narrative.
Sharing how terribly problematic this movie has been, Abhay Deol took to his Instagram to talk about the regressive plot-line of Raanjhanaa:
“History will not look kindly at this film for its regressive message. It’s been a theme in Bollywood for decades, where a boy can (and should), pursue a girl until she relents. Only in cinema does she do that willfully. In reality, we have seen time and again that it leads to sexual violence of some sort. Glorifying it on-screen only leads to blaming the victim.”
Further sharing how troublesome Kundan’s character (played by Dhanush) was, the post further added:
“Jasjeet (played by Abhay) sits beside a man who stalked his girlfriend for so long, threatened to slit her wrist if she doesn’t reciprocate, sabotaged their wedding, got him almost killed, and he very conveniently puts the blame for all it on the lady he claims to love. What was Zoya’s (played by Sonam Kapoor) fault? Yes, she made a very silly plan of faking her boyfriend’s religion but didn’t Jasjeet agree to go along with it? Yes, she could have been more upfront about her refusal to Kundan, but when from the very beginning was he ever considerate or respectful to her consent?”
The post further reads:
“How a person deals with a heartbreak speaks less of the person who couldn’t love them back or even how deeply they felt for that person and more about what that heartbroken individual is made up of. I think its time we stop blaming others for our personal failures and stop carrying the guilt of things people do to themselves.”
Many netizens came forward to share how disappointed they were about Bollywood promoting a culture of stalking.
It is quite a sign of relief that many young men and women are adopting a progressive mindset and criticizing Bollywood on the regressive thought process. Let’s hope Bollywood will pay attention to the change and stop promoting toxic masculinity in the name of love.