Although films and film stars, especially in the languages, have a huge impact over the masses, the mainstream English media treat it with contempt and disdain. The junior-most reporters are assigned to do reviews; interviews with film folk are fluffy and flippant; the film sections are titillatory, voyeuristic, paid-for.
Little wonder, therefore, most Bangalore newspapers have turned up their noses at the execrable shenanigans of Darshan vis-a-vis his wife. None of them have found it fit to editorially comment on or slam the C-grade antics of the “Challenged Star” or the prevailing male chauvinism in Scandalwood.
In an editorial, the Delhi-based Indian Express takes up cudgels on behalf of Nikita Thukral, “the other woman” in the pati, patni aur woh triangle, who has been banned by the Kannda film producers’ association for her alleged fling with “the towering piece of turd” who beat up his wife, stubbed a burning cigarette, tore her dress, bit her ear, threatened their son, and pulled out his revolver and now lies like a coward in hospital feigning asthma and jaudice:
“Who is the film chamber to judge and condemn for adultery? To dismiss an actress (while denying her the right to speak for herself) on these grounds is a singularly unprofessional and sexist act. Of course, the industry’s entrenched hostility to women is legend — it’s a men’s club, where women are represented by the wives of producers and actors.
“Recently, Kannada actress Ramya caused a furore when she took on the producers’ lobby for underpaying her and calling her temperamental and unprofessional. They tried banning her too, but Ramya relied on social media to put up a spirited defence of herself and upend power relations in the movie business. The ban was finally revoked, and Ramya was paid in full.
“Now, the Nikitha Thukral ban has rallied many in the film industry and outside to protest the patent unfairness of the film chamber’s ways. It has revealed the bias and bigotry of the Kannada film world — worse than many others — but more than that, it’s a reminder of the many ways in which equality at the workplace is whittled down, and the easy reflex of punishing a woman for her imagined transgressions, especially if they involve her sexuality.”
An editorial in the Madras-based New Indian Express:
“Such a blatant bias in favour of the male is astonishing except in the most backward of rural areas. But, when it is exhibited in a profession which is almost always in the limelight because of its quotients of glamour and money, it is suggestive of a mindset which has only limited contacts with the modern world.”
Read the Praja Vani editorial: Exhibition of Arrogance