Saturday, July 2, 2016
Swathi murder – time for introspection.
The daring murder of Infosys techie Ms Swathi by a stalker has sent shock waves across the society. This murder has definitely sent a sharp tremor in our body as every daughter from our homes is as vulnerable as Swathi. Any girl going to school or college or work place faces the risk of an attack from a stalker having a monster inside him.
This murder had also shaken our conscience as everyone of us have to ask ourselves before criticising the onlookers at the site of the incident, whether we would have acted any differently from those present at that time. Is it apathy or fear and immunity to crime - which one is keeping us at our back-foot when such a gory incident is happening in front of our eyes?
The media as usual did its job of enough character assassination of Swathi while giving space for callous commenters to spin their own versions of Swathi’s past and their imagined lovers of poor Swathi. It was so sickening to read them all even after appeals were coming from Swathi’s relatives to stop such speculations.
Media’s insensitivity is equally condemnable in their coverage of the female folks of the killer’s family who are also distressed and shocked at the behaviour of their kin. Photos showing his mother and sister crying while hiding their face from the camera made a pathetic essay on the mindless behaviour of the media.
On the other side of the coin, speculation about the caste and religion of the murderer went to the extent that even a sensible and non-controversial Y.G.Mahendra craeted a flutter inadvertently. S.Ve. Shekar added pep to that.
Now that the killer has been identified and captured we can expect support for him from psychological analysts, human rights specialists and even some caste parties, while the real culprit behind the kind of behaviour of the murderer will be having a gleeful day in having got a wonderful plot. If you have guessed it right, I am referring to the movie makers!
Someone from that fraternity may even be discussing Swathi’s case right at the moment to make money and fame out of it. The ideas on how to stalk a girl, tease her, please her and bring her around by some ways are there for anyone’s take from the Tamil movies. A hero who looks completely unsuitable for the heroine will be using all kinds of ways of clash and bash to win the girl. If things don’t click, revenge is always there. If revenge is not there, the hero would quit but not without making all nasty comments about the girl.
There will be ‘situation songs’ for these moments and they will be instant clicks with our youth. Take a look at a sample of those songs I picked out from Chennai Times of 29th June 2016.
The worst part of it is that those who inspired the vulnerable youth with their roles in movies are preaching good behaviour to the public. I am referring to actor Kushboo who was making expletives to stop such incidents and accusing the bystanders at the scene of crime. Did she pause for a second to think what impression her role in Chinna Thambi movie would have created on vulnerable minds of both genders? In that movie she was the youngest sister of a rich family who fell in love with an unlettered but a creative singer who didn’t even know what marriage means. That movie was a hit but no one knows how many impressionable minds were inspired / affected by that movie.
Her husband has an instant appeal with the young and particularly the C class audience with his outwardly comical movies. But thinking about them after seeing them, it is certainly disturbing to note that the plots and scenes are in effect polishing the lower instincts of those viewers.
For instance in his recent movie (Muthina Kathirikai) which was produced by Kushbhoo herself and acted by her husband Sundar.C, the hero (Sundar.C.) was aping to hook a girl who was 15 years younger than him. It turns out that he has loved the mother of the girl in his younger days. Now that he is in love with the heroine, her mother (his lover once) can be seen making glances at him (jollu) which received loud applauses from the audience in the theatre. While such scenes looked obscene, the instant reception for such scenes from the audience was truly shocking. What right Kushbhoo has to speak like an activist of women’s right and advice people while she continues to be an inspiration for negative behaviour through the movies she makes and acts and has her husband acting?
Kushbhoo is not alone in this mission-inspiration for vulnerable minds. I brought in Kushbhoo’s name as I read reports on her talks on Swathi murder. Almost every other Tamil movie that is being released nowadays provide enough fodder to vulnerable minds to mistaken civil talks as signs of love and get into love traps of unmatchable kind.
Movie makers may resist this accusation, and defend their movies saying that they have only portrayed real life incidents. True, such incidents may have happened in real life, but they are rare. By showcasing them into movies, a justification for such behaviour is made in many minds. Even one among them indulging in crime will snatch away life from another Swathi.
It is time the movie makers also do their part of introspection in the name of Swathi – a rare pearl who will be remembered every time we see off our daughter to school or work place.