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Harassment or Romance?

For a long time, Bollywood has been justifying harassment and crimes against women. Bollywood's idea of romance is to pursue a woman continually, touch her inappropriately, grab her, obstruct her path, pass inappropriate comments on her, make her uncomfortable while grouping on her with your buddies and in some extreme cases, even kidnap her. During all the attempts to convey your love to her, the girl's consent does not matter. The most disturbing thing is that the girl falls in love with the hero at the end, and all the passionate attempts are considered the pathway to attain the love of your life. In a Bollywood's love classic "Dilwaly Dulhanya Le Jayenge", the male protagonist, played by Sharukh Khan, made numerous attempts to communicate his intimate feelings for her Female counterpart, played by Kajol. He finds her on a Europe trip and makes every attempt in the book to express his love for her. He passes inappropriate jokes, grabs her, intoxicates her, in short, makes every attempt to make her uncomfortable and in the end, the girl falls in his love. In another Bollywood's classic romantic, "Tere Naam", Salman Khan acting as the male protagonist, not only make the girl uncomfortable by following her, blocking her way or by passing inappropriate comments, he kidnaps her. However, in the end, the girl falls in her love. Moreover, in "Dil", the hero kidnaps the female protagonist and even threatens her to ruin her life by raping her. However, he does not rape her because he loves her, and the girl likes his way by which he expresses his affection for her and soon after kisses him publicly to express her love for him. The list does not end here. Bollywood has a long list of romantic films and love songs that educate the youth about the most effective ways to express their affection for someone. The problem starts when they try to use those ways in the real world. First, all the ways taught by Bollywood are considered harassment and most of the time, the girl develops feelings of hatred instead of love because of those inappropriate attempts. The problem intensifies when the outcome of those attempts does not come as expected, and then the girl is considered rude and egoistic. The egoism or rudeness sometimes supplement hatred, which ends in the form of criminal offences like Rape or Acid Attacks. Women have been and still are facing the disastrous consequences of the inappropriate depiction of romanticism by Bollywood.


Ali Zulqarnain

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I think two perspectives can explain why this is happening. Firstly, the supply and demand relation in movies. Producers only make what is demanded and in a patriarchal society nothing in this movie is seen wrong rather the man is glamorised as the knight in shining armour freeing the women from loneliness. Secondly, the idea of positionally and that most directors are men with the same thinking which is reflected in their movies.

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I agree that the romanticization can be seen in the both the lenses you have mentioned. However, I would like to say it could not be justified on the basis of demand and supply rule. First, media's role should not be limited to satisfy what people are demanding, it has a duty to educate people. Moreover, I would like to add that there are numerous female producers and directors who are producing the similar content. I agree that positionality has some role in the production of these movies but how would you explain the encouragement of similar concepts by the female directors? I think the main factor behind the production of these movies is the exoticization of females for profit…

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The society and its expectations have dominated people’s personal beliefs and actions, and has put them in a position to conform if they want to gain acceptance from society. As we all know, society puts males at the top of the patriarchal pyramid with them being considered the supreme and masculine of men as compared to women. The idea that masculinity comes from exerting one’s power over others in society, ie particularly by dominating women and keeping them in a subordinate position, is a flawed concept that is showcased mostly in Bollywood movies. This blog post brings hegemonic masculinity into discussion and shows how possession is such toxic male trait because of which it can go violent and physical. Men…

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This can be highly problematic when it comes to how the audience perceive these acts of harassment. Males may generally relate themselves to the heroes of these Bollywood movies who do not take no for an answer. This might lead them to harass someone without the conscious awareness that it is wrong because they simply believe that they are only trying to pursue what they can't have. On the other hand, females may also may not be consciously aware due to movies like these that what they may be facing is sexual harassment. Thus, movies have a responsibility on themselves to educate the masses and they must rightly do so when it comes to ethics. -Aimen

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