Wednesday, January 2, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

A woman alone in public is a symbol of freedom and emancipation, the woman who is empowered and who is in full control of herself. She is the woman of today, who has been released from the shackles of her past fears.  

But at the same time, a woman alone in public can also be a nuisance to society; she can cause some innocent men to be able to be turned into rapists.

It is well and good for women’s right advocates to cry foul about how men who could not control their urges and women must not be deterred to go anywhere as they please, by herself or with friends.

But the fact is that women on their own can be very vulnerable to being attacked and not just verbally sexually abused by strangers from amongst the men.

She is like the woman entering a forbidden territory such as a jungle, and is attacked by wild animals.

Can she blame the animals for not using its animal instincts to attack her?

The men who were innocent earlier, could suddenly spring to become rapists, when the animal instincts in them are allowed to seize control of their senses.

This is not a good or any excuse for men to be let off scot-free; they must be punished, so that the women who they had raped and their relatives and friends, can get some justice.

But alas, it is justice which does not mean anything, as the women who have been raped will continue to carry the stigma and trauma all her lives.

So what can the women do? They cannot expect all men to behave as they please. There will be some who do not care for chivalry; they willingly transform from being a human being into an animal.

India is proud of its film industry especially the one based in Mumbai called Bollywood which is basically Hindustani films. And together with the other industries which produce films in other Indian languages or dialects, the country produced more than one thousand feature films.

However, only a handful is considered to be big box office successes, with the others remaining in India and not about to be shown elsewhere.

And with so many films that the country produces a year, there are still such a small number of actors and directors who can be said to be influential or prominent.

The only common denominator that all the films have is that they have strong sexual overtones.

Unfortunately, most Bollywood and other Indian films are not about the triumph of the bad or evil. They are mostly about the triumph of the worse over the bad.

Characters in many Bollywood and other Indian films are about those who are rude, uncouth and the fabulously and unemployed and uncivilized. They who are fabulously wealthy but who do not exhibit any common manners.

Bollywood, especially thrives on films which seem to promote sexual harassment. The studios and producers can never come up with films which do not have such themes, of the women being sexually and also physically and emotionally harassed.

It seems that Bollywood promotes sexual harassment. And not only that, it promotes mingling of the sexes, and of the Indian women who dares to be westernized, even though the women who patronize Bollywood films are mostly those who are in saris, and the many Indians who could hardly afford to sustain themselves yet, they who are willing to part with their well-earned rupees to watch those films that allow them to fantasize.

It is easy to come up any Bollywood film as it involves the single Indian-Hindu woman, who is being targeted by men who fancy her. And she allows herself to be abused, so that Bollywood fantasy can continue to lull the senses of its viewers, especially those in India itself, who encourage such films on such issues to be highlighted again and again.

Bollywood therefore, is beyond redemption and salvation because the people of India marvel at them, like they are the greatest invention of the country which unfortunately cannot be exported to the other countries in such fashion. 

The economic and social disparity between the Indian women in Bollywood and other Indian films especially the Tamil ones and the women who view these films are so wide; they are the women of real India while the women in Bollywood films are the women of the ‘reel India’, and between the Indians who take part in the production of those films and those who patronize them.

How this wide disparity could have been allowed to be created in the first place and allowed to exist till today is still a mystery.

If the Indian women and also men, don’t care, then why should the others care?

Yet, the producers and actors are not chided. On the contrary, they are feted.

Unfortunately, too, no one in India has ever tried to do a serious study on why and how Bollywood and the many other Indian films are popular, because they have such a theme, which surrounds on the antics of two men who try to get the attention of a woman.

Unfortunately, and disgustingly, too, the men are past the age or marriage in India where they marry young. Yet, in many a Bollywood film, the heroes and his antagonist are not so young, with the woman of their common desire also not girls anymore.

And why are many Indian men and woman now getting angry over the gang-rape of a twenty-three-year-old medical student who eventually succumbed to the injury inflicted upon her by her rapists and attackers, number six of them.

She was traveling in a bus with her boyfriend, after seeing a film, and they were attacked with the woman raped and dumped outside of the bus.

But why must the Indian men and woman protesting in New Delhi and also London over such acts, however heinous?

They have come out too late.

They had all this while, together with the many other Indians been going to the cinemas in India and also England to watch those Bollywood films which promote sexual harassment, yet, they did not do anything to them, to get the producers and studios in Mumbai and in the other cities where they produce films other than in Hindustan, to stop belittling the Indian women.

Maybe it is too late.

Bollywood is beyond redemption. The producers won’t care what the small groups of Indians are protesting about. They are aloof to their cries.

Ironically, all of them are looking elsewhere and staring at parliament and blaming the politicians from both sides, for failing to introduce legislation that punishes rapists.

But why call for more stringent legislation to punish rapists? Are they saying that women can be raped, and if this happened, the rapists ought to be given the severest punishment that the laws of the country could give them?

But alas, it is too late.

The twenty-three-year-old medical woman who had just died cannot get much justice, being dead, she could only become a cause celebre, yet, unnamed.

This is not the main issue.

The main issue or concern therefore, is for the Indians not only to enforce the laws that have already been created by parliament of the country, but also for the women themselves to be careful with themselves.

The dead twenty-three-year-old medical women may be the final triumph of Bollywood.

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