Friday, December 23, 2011

Vidya Balan and the Dirty Picture

I saw a news item today about a complaint filed against Vidya Balan for posing for obscene pictures on the promos of the movie 'Dirty Picture'. Vidya Balan plays the lead character of an actress, a character based on the yesteryear South artiste, Silk Smitha, who was a dancer and played several vampish roles in her time. The movie has received positive reviews and Vidya Balan was unanimously applauded for her performance.

Such complaints only highlight the hypocricy of our society, especially the male segment's, a society where we hear of all kinds of atrocities on women day and night and raise not a word against it in condemnation, a society where male audiences lap up all sorts of raunchy stuff on television and the big screen, porn on the internet, a society that created and made and ended the life of Silk Smitha and many more. A walk around the city will show far more objectionable posters and material, in the papers, magazines, theatres, cyber cafes, and if one has the courage to see, a lot more objectionable stuff going on in our neighbourhoods, inside seemingly respectable homes. Hints, insinuations, language, looks, leers, passes, lewd jokes, everything is passable. But then a poster of a movie, certified by the authorities, one that certainly falls within the band going by what we have seen, causes much unrest and furore to the sensitive male Indian and forces a complaint, a case, a hearing and valuable loss of public time and money.

Why would this poster, among so many more, attract the attention and why would it be so objectionable? Why would not a poster of Salman khan without his shirt be objectionable to women? Or men? And all this in a society where men are most comfortable pissing in the public, changing their clothes in public, exposing themselves in public places without a care, scratching themselves, walking around in all sorts of undress and generally behaving like animals.

It is because this poster will grab the headlines, ensure everyone's fifteen minutes of fame and who knows, perhaps some leverage at the end of it all. And in all these exchanges, there have been many more such cases, it is always the women artistes who get the raw end of the deal, as if they did something against what the script has asked, what the society has dictated, what the authorities have laid down. Perhaps it is time we asked ourselves if all this was necessary, and to what end are such complaints aimed at. To me such complaints reek of opportunism, male chauvinism and an attitude that says males can still do and get away with whatever they want. It is time to introspect.

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