“Don’t single out the cinema industry. We have to understand it[sexual harassment] is prevalent in all fields,” said actor Kamal Haasan regarding the #MeToo movement that has grabbed the attention of the media in the recent days. The sheer importance and coverage given to a common public issue like sexual abuse has stemmed from the celebrity centric ideology of the current press. For precisely the same reason, ordinary people haven’t been able to connect to it and therefore have disassociated themselves from the topic, which has been plaguing not just the film fraternity, but every sector there is.
Along with the things that are usually associated with the film industry, including glamour and glitz, this too has become something that is limited only to their industry, which is not the case. Is it possible for the common public to share the perspective of a film star, whose lifestyle is so different and whose lives they cannot possibly fathom? Is the media right in portraying this misconception and therefore misleading the public into believing in the myth of deceitful and ugly cinema world? I need answers too, and I can’t stress enough of the significance of asking the right questions that get into the core of the subject, exploring all the facets of issue that is nigh on the rise.
I hope my comments are not misinterpreted in a way that I seem like I am against feminist beliefs or am a misogynist. I seek a justice system and a non-judgmental society that takes facts into consideration before reacting.
It is of prime importance to understand the fine line between a good humoured and well intended comment and something that is deemed sexual harassment. Not to sound like a cinephile, but Sudhir Mishra’s directorial venture ‘Inkaar’ is much more relevant than the allegations of the glam world that thrives on attention and fame. The film asks pertinent and much needed questions relating to consent and misuse of the perception of Indian society that tends to blame the complainant, whichever gender he/she may be. Ironically enough, the actress of the film Chitrangadha Singh is one of the many women claiming to have been harassed at her working place i.e. a film set, which came into light because she is a celebrity.
India needs stories of ordinary people overcoming extraordinary circumstances which are more relatable rather than look at the world in a tint of filmy glamour.
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