Dabangg, a 2010 Hindi film, starring Salman Khan as Chulbul Pandey and Sonakshi Sinha as Rajjo, is a classic portrayal of female objectification, male dominance and problematic behavior.
A dialogue that received major attention and was declared a hit, pun intended is based on Chulbul slapping Rajjo. Contrary to popular belief about violence, the dialogue became extremely famous amongst audience and critics.
“Thappad se darr nahi lagta saab, pyar se lagta hai."
It is evident that with rising cases of domestic abuse worldwide, a celebrity indulged in the said script whereby fans romanticized the slap in the name of love and romance. A major influencer with a tremendous fan following, Salman Khan provided a leeway to the audience in lieu of putting one’s hand on women and the character of Rajjo being shown as strong and madly in love. It is important to note that in today’s world, almost every individual regardless of whether they have access to education or not, does have access to some films and media prints.
This said media piece “Dabangg” shows that the female protagonist accepts the slap portraying to a certain proportion of men and women that it is acceptable if done out of love.
Making it to the box office may definitely be a huge achievement for the production house but at the expense of what? An item song that objectifies women? Defines their character for them?
“Munni badnaam hui darling tere liye”, a popular item song decodes how the character of a woman is dependent upon how she pants after a man. The entire ideology behind a song with such lyrics and intentions shows how media is not just irresponsible but also selfish to produce what sells and sounds catchy. Why do men in countries such as Pakistan applaud such songs and dances but still make a huge deal out of the way women dress? Is this selective freedom?
I shall end with a question on whether or not you all agree that hypocrisy exists when one wants to entertain themselves and how can we as the future of tomorrow work on it.