Bollywood responsible for crimes of passion?

  • Aakriti Sawhney, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Aug 02, 2013 15:35 IST
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Another case of jilted love gone wrong, and another slew of films around stalking. Is there an obvious connect between latest Bollywood releases, including Raanjhanaa and Rockstar, and Wednesday’s incident of a girl in Jawaharlal Nehru University being axed by her jilted lover before he killed himself? Psychoanalysts, professors, students and Bollywood experts stand divided on the matter.

“Bollywood has a lot of influence on our day-to-day lives. We take actors as our role models and if they do something in a movie, we take that as a socially accepted thing. First of all, we have to understand that what we see in movies is just reel and not real. Secondly, we must expose the culprits and the family so that people fear such activities,” says Pulkit Sharma, clinical psychologist.

"Young people copy things they see in movies. It’s time we paused and did some midcourse correction,” said filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt in a recent interview.

Raanjhanaa, which stars Sonam Kapoor and Dhanush, has instances of wrist-slashing and stalking, and is also partly set in JNU. Some, however, say drawing a parallel between the film and this crime is not right. “This one-off case has taken place in JNU for the first time and I don’t know how to read a trend here. But yes, when students from rural areas come here they are up for a cultural shock. Same happened with me when I joined JNU 23 years ago. Many excel, some don’t. We have to see the context here. This boy was exposed to violence and knew how to use every type of weapon. His situation and circumstances were completely different,” says professor Vivek Kumar, Deptt. of Sociology, JNU.

Students say it’s true that movies influence young minds but Bollywood cannot be blamed, forget entirely. “Not just Bollywood movies, but the society as a whole of which Bollywood is a part, is responsible. We have to see the problem in the larger context and introspect,” says Anand Krishnaraj, a student of Legal Studies at the university.

Bombay Stalkies

Rockstar (2011)
Ranbir Kapoor forces his attention on Nargis Fakhri by chasing her everywhere.

Tere Naam (2003)
Salman Khan, a rowdy former college boy who, after a ragging (hazing) session, loses his heart to first year student Nirjara and stalks her.

Darr (1993)
When Juhi Chawla’s character is studying in a college in Shimla, she is serenaded by a man who does not reveal his identity but later she finds out that it is her obsessed stalker, played by Shah Rukh Khan.

Sholay (1975)
Dharmendra jumps on Hema Malini’s tonga, troubling her as a mark of courtship. She pushes him off her carriage but he once again climbs aboard and continues singing, “Koi hasina jab rooth jati hai to, aur bhi hasin ho jati hai.”


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