Darshan scandal: The return of the vamp


If the Kannada Film Producers’ Association (KFPA) thought it has sent out a strong message by banning co-star Nikitha Thukral for her alleged affair with Mr Darshan, the entire 42-member body is mistaken.

Since Friday, forget serious action against the star, there hasn’t been single voice condemning his deeply criminal acts. This bunch of chauvinists waited two days and then chose the obvious way out: When the going gets tough, find an official enemy. Without even hearing Nikitha’s version, the KFPA “unanimously” evicted her out of the industry because, according to a section of the media, she “tormented Vijayalakshmi to leave Darshan, to a point where she is even talking of living on her own….”

There was yet another noble cause to serve. One of the producers has said that “the decision was taken in the interest of the film industry and Darshan’s family”.

Anand Appugol, producer of the upcoming big-budget flick ‘Sangolli Rayanna’ starring both Darshan and Nikitha has been quoted as saying that “though the reason for his arrest was due to a minor problem, it was made big incident as Darshan is a public figure”.

Fantastic!

If 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC, and section 27 of the Arms Act are “minor” offenses, then let’s just send the police force home. Jails will run empty and roads will be safe. Courts will hear only mining cases.

Does the KFPA, ducking under the pressure being exerted by a few producers who have apparently invested Rs 35 crore on this star, know that there are certain wings of justice the society still pins its hopes on?

While the star is recuperating from his new-found jaundice and asthma and his wife Vijayalaksmi’s visit to the hospital is being publicised as a true compromise between the couple, the Mumbai-based actress faces the flak all alone. On the other hand, the instigated fan club goes on rampage and puts the police force in a bind. Yesterday, I saw on the TV some senior actors visiting the star in pain. The smiles on their faces said which side they were on.

What can you expect from a film industry that wallows in scripts oozing with chauvinism, machismo? It is these same producers who get such scripts written and throw in the same old spices to dish out the same old rotten curry. Barring a few exceptions, I have grown up watching a number of movies where heroines prostrate before men begging forgiveness for their ‘wayward’, ‘family-wrecking’ behaviour. It is the typical pathivratha-versus-vamp storylines where the hero stands victimised and the vamp punished. If there are two pathivrathas, then one happily ends her life.

It won’t suffice to say that the scripts are a cliché. It’s the women who are a cliché here.

I don’t think the nature of the scripts will change. Not in my lifetime, at least. Nor will the way the film industry reacts to such incidents. If it truly decides to act, then my hunch is that they will have not many stars to bank on.

Related articles: Darshan scandal vs. women’s rights

 

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