In 5 Tweets, Actor Siddharth Slams Cinema For Glorifying The Dangerous ‘Stalker’ Lover

Posted on July 18, 2016 in Culture-Vulture

By YKA Staff:

Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna was abducted in February this year by someone who had reportedly stalked her 150 times since January 2015. Ghaziabad SSP invoked Shah Rukh Khan’s 1993 film “Darr” as a possible ‘inspiration’ for the kidnapper. In the film, Khan plays an ‘obsessive lover’ aka a stalker who makes life miserable for a woman who has no interest in him. When Khan was asked to comment on this, he said, “”Darr” was a story of this obsessive lover, who can give life for the woman he loves and he does. It wasn’t meant to inspire negative things. But I do feel our films touch people’s lives.” But here’s the thing – what happened with Dipti Sarna proves that they do more than just touching people’s lives. In fact, an Indian security guard escaped prison in Australia because his lawyer blamed Bollywood for his ‘stalking habit’!

But finally, a mainstream Indian actor has spoken up about the glorification of stalking in our films. Siddharth, known for films like “Rang De Basanti” and “Kaaviya Thalaivan” was in conversation with Dhanya Rajendra of The News Minute and he tweeted:

Yes, exactly! “Any man can get the woman he wants just by wanting her enough” – this is such a dangerous precedent that Bollywood has set. Because we have all seen that when this precedent is not met, when a man doesn’t get a woman despite trying very hard, instances such as murder and acid attacks take place in the name of revenge for rejection.

Looking at the grave nature of stalking, it is now also a criminally punishable offence under Indian law. After the December 2012 gang-rape in Delhi, the Justice Verma Committee was set up to re-examine India’s rape laws. And under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, stalking is punishable with 3 years in jail for a first-time offence, and 5 years, for a repeat offence.

With this mandated by law, writers, directors and actors must be even more careful with the sort of ideas they’re propagating through their films. It’s also upsetting how Bollywood still struggles to portray consent in a relationship. Whether it is forcefully kissing a woman or following her or touching her without her permission, our films have a very long way to go.

And for the last time, let’s not glorify any of this as ‘obsessive love’ or ‘cuteness’ and set dangerous examples.

Because none of this is ‘love’.

A still from the 1993 film, “Darr: A Violent Love Story” where the actor repeatedly stalks the actress, harasses her, abducts her and forces her to marry him.

A still from Darr

A still from “Raanjhanaa” where the female character is given a threat of her wrist being slit, by someone who ‘obsessively loves’ her.

A still from Ranjhana

And this message from the trailer of “Raanjhanaa”.

A message from Raanjhanaa trailer

A still from “Kambakkht Ishq” where the actor tries to forcefully kiss the actress.

A still from kambakkht ishq

A still from “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge” when the actor (as a joke) makes the actress think they had ‘sex’, though she doesn’t remember it as she had consumed alcohol, and was in no position to give consent.

A still from DDLJ

A scene from “Baahubali” where the actor disrobes the actress and dresses her in a way to make her ‘more desirable’.

A still from Bahubali

More the reason why we need people from the film industry to speak up on stalking and consent, the way Siddharth did!