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Dear Bollywood, you are accountable to us all

Shomini Sen | http://shominisen

Updated: September 12, 2013, 7:04 AM IST
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Dear Bollywood, you are accountable to us all
The film industry still manages to make offensive remarks about women, time and again.

New Delhi: Our Hindi film industry has a knack of surprising us. Just when you think the industry is finally evolving and making realistic films, comes a 'Grand Masti', 'Himmatwala' and 'Zanjeer' which takes us back in time when Bollywood was all about male machismo.

From Priyanka Chopra's 'Pinky' dance to sexual innuendos filled trailers of 'Grand Masti', the film industry still manages to make offensive remarks about women, time and again.

The December 16 gangrape in Delhi not only led to a movement of sorts about safety of women in India but it also made many of us retrospect about the society we live in. Naturally, Bollywood and its representation of women in films was at the top of everyone's mind. While film celebrities openly condemned the horrific crime, they were all quick to defend their work and fraternity and stated that how films should not be held responsible for the misdeeds in the society.

But when leading actors agree to be a part of raunchy numbers and adult comedies where women are easily commodified , it clearly gives out a strong message to the audience on how things are still the same.

Some six months back, Priyanka Chopra had made headlines when she had asked Sanjay Gupta to first show her lyrics of the song she was approached for in Gupta's 'Shootout At Wadala'. Chopra, at that time, had stated that she would not feature in any song which had derogatory lyrics. Six months down the line, the same actress raised eyebrows when she featured in a song called "Pinky hai paisewalon ki". The lyrics of the song from the disastrous 'Zanjeer' went something like "Paisa phek tamasha dekh, nachegi Pinky fultoo late". The same actress also featured in khaki hot pants in another song giving a "tribute" to Mumbai police where she urged the film's leading hero, Ram Charan to show his "gun". Clearly Chopra, just like her screen avatar Pinky, would readily agree to feature in any song if the moolah was good.

A still from the upcoming 'Grand Masti' shows its three leading men nicely placed between the legs of the leading ladies. A sequel of the adult comedy 'Masti', the film has its heroes speaking almost every dialogue laced with sexual overtones and equating women to delectable food items.

While some may argue that a premise of an adult comedy is almost always stereotypical, the irony is not lost on anyone. So while an actor may agree to be part of such films, on social media network they will harp about gender equality, safety for women in the society. Individually they might believe in certain issues, their screen avatars might be diametrically opposite to their real self.

Agreed that films cannot be the moral police of the society and perhaps should be treated strictly for entertainment purpose but in a country which treats films as a religion and which uncannily manages to unite all communities across the country, most of the viewers tend to blur the lines between fiction and reality. Also, if films are banned when certain community is offended due to its content, why can't they be banned if they do not show women in the proper light? But then, that would perhaps lead to banning of half of our films, no?

First Published: September 12, 2013, 7:04 AM IST
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