THE “WORKPLACE HARASSMENT” GOOGLY!
Girl kids that boldly come into the largely male-actor-dominated tinsel world need a Joan of Arc or Lara Crofts spirit!
What they and the public call, rather euphemistically, as an “occupational hazard” of this industry is actually kind of workplace or off-location harassment that is difficult to either connive at or be considerate about!
Mind you the character roles that these spunky young women act out in front of the cameras and arc lights may be good or bad; they may let themselves be put to some extremes of endurance also as part of what they are doing but that doesn’t mean that they can be humiliated as women or taken undue advantage of as prime sex recreation stuff.
However such incidents happen basically because of undeserved mollycoddling and widespread lionizing of the male “mega stars”—like the heroes they played in some film productions for getting their hefty remuneration!
A MOST WRONG GENDER PROJECTION!
Across India almost all our forefathers and our own elders have consistently projected an erroneous, biologically inexcusable, zero-alibi, projection of the male Indian over the female counterpart as if India can live very well with only male yahoos on her soil! One ancient writer of ideal social systems and conventions has been so grossly misconstrued by almost all men here –I mean Manu the writer—and this has been used as a weapon to put the women in her place on the mat!
For one thing, such discrimination goes against human biology too, in case you never thought about it. The XX chromosome gives the Female a level of inner stamina and endurance that the male –XY- can never catch up with.
National Geographic magazine has come out with archival data proving that it was an Eve that evolved first out of the biped monkeys in Faiyum Depression in Egypt—the supposed locality of human origin—and she evolved into a male counterpart too for sheer evolutionary purposes of ensuring a sexual union to continue the human race!
Additionally we have it also that the was so strong physically that she could smother a live leopard with her bare hands and dig out roots and tubers from as deep as 12 inches in the African soil!
These reflections came to me as I was reading about a remarkable versatile cine artiste by name Ms Swara Bhaskar who did justice to her quite unlikeable character—an orchestra singer with convenient morals and a high tendency to flaunt her innate sexuality– in the film titled Anarkali of Arrah.
This character gets assaulted on stage, but she takes it as an insult to her dignity and on her art from a very strong sense of one way track injustice. She feels she has been violated. Of course this act of violence is part of the film theme.
The director Mr Avinash Das, familiar with Arrah in Bihar, wants to take the viewers out of their comfort zones and to see such an act in its most uncomfortable and least sympathetic scenario.
Audiences can be unruly, and the public can be callously insensitive towards the females performing in a masterly manner in a largely male-determined industry despite the lesser pay packets they receive!
Swara’s decided take on this is that most female artists have to live with some quota of workplace or off site harassment, which may range from a simple bantering comment, teasing, heckling or even molestation inside a moving vehicle, as happened to one of our precious young artistes recently.
As I said , one of our own female Mollywood artistes had to undergo this traumatic experience recently on a road near Kochi for no fault of hers at all but out of sheer male spite against her being so courageous in her roles.
I am not prepared to wish this away as mere workplace harassment in another avatar at all! I see the fault lines that such an incident opens up in our psychological tectonic plates hidden deep below our public exteriors!
Almost all female artistes are viewed as accessible to men at any time, if necessary for money—and this is tantamount to calling them as floozies or streetwalkers in a different guise! It’s an insult of such abominable nature that language fails me if I dare comment upon that!
I am not prepared to accept that kind of stereotyping wither.
The irony across India is that we DO have quite stringent laws within the pages of IPC—Indian Penal Code that is- to deal with and effectively prevent a repetition of such acts.
But we Indians have been subjected to a millennia-spanning demoralization process through almost consistent and boringly repetitive colonization and/or conquest attempts that we are not bold enough to implement these laws in a summary manner and without an iota of mercy!
The REAL question here is quite simple if stated for the layman:
To what extent are YOU, the educated or uneducated INDIAN, mentally open to accepting the human rights of all our women to not only live along with us in manifold and multifarious roles, but also to accept unconditionally and without riders that Gender Equality is a non-negotiable issue across the nation 24/7/365, no matter their age, societal and economic status, locality or time!!
Wish you all a GREAT day!