Chandigarh stalking: Punjabi films portray it’s ‘okay’ to stalk a woman | cities | Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh stalking: Punjabi films portray it’s ‘okay’ to stalk a woman

It is not only a question of how women are portrayed in Punjabi films. Even boys get a rough deal as they are only depicted stalking women, which comes across as their only purpose. The reality, however, is starkly different.

cities Updated: Aug 11, 2017 21:33 IST
In ‘Naughty Jatts’ (2013), not one but three boys are pursuing one girl who doesn’t seem to notice it at all. The whole story is about wooing her.
In ‘Naughty Jatts’ (2013), not one but three boys are pursuing one girl who doesn’t seem to notice it at all. The whole story is about wooing her.(HT File)

Boy follows girl, girl ultimately surrenders’. The glorification of stalking in mainstream Punjabi cinema does not come across as a surprise.

Then there are words such as ‘patola’ (which literally means ‘doll’) and ‘purja’ (literal meaning ‘spare part’) that are used to describe an “attractive” woman. The objectification doesn’t end here.

Short film-maker Vishavjot Mann says, “What you show on a big screen impacts people’s minds. Stalking is presented as something ‘cool’. We are certainly going downhill.”

GIRLS CHOOSE TO IGNORE

‘Yaar Anmulle’ (2011) is one such film where boys are shown stalking girls, and the girls don’t seem to notice it. Even if they do, there is hardly any reaction. Girls, in real life, usually ignore such advances because parents put more restrictions on them rather than supporting them.

A Punjabi film-maker, Rajeev Sharma, says, “Mainstream Punjabi films are based on this glorification. ‘Jihne Mera Dil Luteya’ is a film in which the fathers send their sons to stalk a girl. This shows the downfall of our society projected through the camera.” The 2011 film stars actors Diljit Dosanjh, Neeru Bajwa and Gippy Grewal.

‘NO MEANS NO’

Sharma adds, “No means no! If you stalk a girl daily, that does not mean the girl will agree. However, many Punjabi films show if a boy goes after a girl five to seven times, the girl eventually surrenders.”

In ‘Naughty Jatts’ (2013), not one but three boys are pursuing one girl who doesn’t seem to notice it at all. The whole story is about wooing her.

It is not only a question of how women are portrayed in Punjabi films. Even boys get a rough deal as they are only depicted stalking women, which comes across as their only purpose. The reality, however, is starkly different where Punjabi men are ambitious and focussed on their careers.

NEED TO RETHINK

Theatre actor-director Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry says, “The idea has come from Hindi films. A man pursuing a woman in unacceptable ways is shown as macho. And this glorification then comes into general behavioural patterns.”

“We need to rethink what it means to be a man and what it needs to be a woman,” she adds.

Art reflects society and most artistes choose to create what sells.

STOP APPRECIATING SUCH CINEMA

Another film-maker Amitoj Mann says, “The need is to create films which don’t glorify such nonsense. Films reflect society. So we have to show what is present in society even while criticising it. But most people choose to glorify it. There are some good examples such as ‘Rang De Basanti’ (2006) too which criticise entertainment through entertainment.”

“The problem is when a bad film does well at the box office, the example is followed because it sells. We need to stop appreciating such cinema.”

Short film-maker Vishavjot Mann says, “What you show on a big screen impacts people’s minds. Stalking is presented as something ‘cool’. We are certainly going downhill.”

Another film-maker Rajeev Sharma says, “No means no! If you stalk a girl daily, that does not mean the girl will agree. However, many Punjabi films show if a boy goes after a girl five to seven times, the girl eventually surrenders.”

“The idea has come from Hindi films. A man pursuing a woman in unacceptable ways is shown as macho. And this glorification then comes into general behavioural patterns,” adds Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, theatre actor-director.

Film-maker Amitoj Mann says, “The need is to create films which don’t glorify such nonsense. Films reflect society. So we have to show what is present in society even while criticising it.”