This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Siva Shankar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Love Or Stalking: Indian Society Needs To Learn The Difference

More from Siva Shankar

Note: The article is not to decide on any matter. It’s just about the questions and this dilemma that haunts me.

Movies have a great impact today, and this is especially true for the youths of the country. Many Indian movies, mainly love stories, are male-centric thanks to patriarchal values. These movies portray a common theme – follow a girl you like and then convince her to accept the proposal, despite repeated indications of disinterestedness by the girl.

Bollywood films often show stalking as an act of love.

Consider the following two situations:

A boy fell in love with a girl and wants to marry her; so he approaches her; she is not interested; he approached her again and finally convinced the girl to marry him.

A boy fell in love with a girl and wants to marry her; so he approaches her; she is not interested; he approached her again but he could not convince her to marry him; so he killed her.

Similar situations here lead to two different ends. If these situations were to be made as a movie, the first will be perceived by the audience as a romance that glorifies the value of love. The second will be perceived as a thriller, where a boy stalked and killed a girl. This difference in perception has two reasons:

The audience is most cases are already aware of the kind of movie they are going to watch. We were aware that the stalker (hero) of the movie will not harm the girl because he was a hero. We usually sympathize with the protagonist.

Reality Has A Different Face

But in both the cases above, the girls are subjected to stalking as per law (means) till the end, and based on the end we decide on the situation. But in real life means are more important than ends, because ends are unpredictable and ends are irreversible

No one knows what will happen to the girls in both situations. How can we expect every stalker to be a hero in real life?

What will happen if the stalker in real life turned a sudden villain to the girl? This results in threats to the girl! Acid attack! Abuses! And a lot more!

Stalking Laws In India

Stalking as a crime added in criminal laws of India after the 2013 Criminal Amendment Act passed by the Justice Verma Committee due to the increasing number of crimes against modesty of women in society. Stalking should not be gender biased but in our country stalking is held only in cases of men stalking women (The article not going to discuss this issue). Section 354 D defines the crime of stalking. According to Section 354 D of the Indian Penal Code, Stalking means and includes, “Any man who —

follows a woman and contacts, or attempts to contact such woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman; or
monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication, commits the offense of stalking.

There are some exceptions. For instance, it does not amount to stalking if a man accused of stalking had been entrusted with the responsibility of prevention and detection of crime by the State.

Laws Vs Movies

So, here comes the Love-Stalking dilemma.

The law says that following a woman after a clear indication of disinterest by such women amounts to stalking. But movies and love stories show us the opposite i.e., one can follow a girl and convince her to accept the proposal. If she was convinced, stalking here takes the form of love. There are also movies where the heroines themselves are depicted to want to get stalked by the hero.

They want the hero to follow her until they accept the proposal. It is quite obvious that youths learn the means to express love through movies because youths perceive heroes and heroines as the representation of society. But this concept of approaching a girl amounts to stalking as per Indian law and cyberstalking as defined in law, today is more prevalent.

In 2018, India reported a stalking case every 55 minutes. But the actual number may be still higher. Because not all will complain to the police and as mentioned above, if the girl was convinced, then stalking was not recognized.  Clearly following a girl even after a repeated refusal is a crime because it violates human rights and it goes against the interest of a girl, a human being with dignity. But in many cases, love involves stalking, which was unrecognized just because the story ends happily.

So the questions that we need answers to as today’s youth are:

Should one stalk to love?

What is the thin line that separates stalking and love?

How can one express love without stalking?

Comment if you have answers for any or all of these questions.

Created by Siva Shankar

Are Indian love movies misleading Indian youths by promoting stalking?

Feature image is for representational purposes only.

You must be to comment.

More from Siva Shankar

Similar Posts

By Priyaranjan Kumar

By Ishrat Bashir yatoo

By Cademyk

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below