So who decides what is the truth? In the 1990s this was so prevalent, a married actor would have a discreet affair with the young heroine he was working with and expected the girl to show no emotion or sign of involvement. And God forbid if in a weak moment she does show, all hell would break loose!
She would lose her films with the co-star, not be spoken to by the hero and his camp – get removed from whatever movies she would have with him and “his people-“. And then would follow a spate of threatening interviews with her under pressure to keep quiet and watch her life and reputation being torn to bits, while the hero would tarnish her name and reputation and in some interviews proving his machismo image even threaten to ” break the girls face ” if she spoke about him.
These unfortunate incidents are obviously encouraged by some sycophant chamcha journalists – who would sit applaud and encourage the hero, in hope that maybe they become producer and this hero will work with them; or it’s some infatuated blinded girl journo, who would think the hero is God for her, would sit and add fuel to the fire – burning on stake is the remaining amount of dignity the actress / had left!
In today’s day age it’s much easier to reach out and present your own case on social media, which to a certain extent has been a boon to celebrities. It has it’s pros and cons for sure, but easier for all to put the truth out. Earlier on, one could rave rant and beat their chest and cry themselves hoarse on whatever they had to put out there, but once a scandalous headline in print was out, that was it! There were a few takers for the clarification.
Today social media is abuzz with Kangana Ranaut- she soon is becoming the symbol /poster girl for feminists across most in support for. I remember first seeing Kangana when she won the newcomers award at an award show in London many years ago, what really impressed me about her was in her acceptance speech , she humbly stated that I will speak in Hindi as my English is not so good. That statement from her won the audiences heart. She I believe, is someone who will tell the truth, and stand by it. Some do believe and I do too that intimate details about a relationship need not be made public as what happens between two people is for them to know and decide, who are we to judge? But it’s her choice to stand up and fight for if she does feel wronged and believes that she needs to get the truth out in the open .
The industry was and maybe is still a hero oriented where terms and conditions are dictated by super star male actors. But the slight shift is there for all to see. Much before my generation, in the 70’s some heroines were driven to paranoia and ultimately declare schizophrenics and written off. A gorgeous model actress was found dead after being labelled that and another beauty queen/model/actress was beaten up black and blue by a hero husband and his wife! She lost an eye and her career. In 90’s (my generation) the girls fought back but silently. If they spoke, either they were labelled pathological liars or as the macho heroes would show their bravado by threatening in the next glossy headline as how they would smash the girls face or bash her the next time they saw her or she spoke about them – whereas the girls would quietly pick up the pieces of their hearts and careers and try to let their work speak.
Are these instances just the reflection of what our society is or always has been? Why is it that the man gets away scot-free and the woman in the relationship is left to mend her life? Many much married heroes promise some of these young gullible girls the moon, make the girls fall in love with them, love the chase, and the minute surrender happens they put their tail between their legs and run.
Most of the heroines I know secretly might be rooting for Kangana and identifying on some of the points that she’s made. If I applaud Kangana today, is not for that I have already judged who is right or in the wrong, just that it’s high time women find their voice, speak up, and get their due out there.
P.S: This blog stands as an extended version of my article published today in India Times (http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/raveenatandonblog/the-power-men-of-bollywood-and-how-social-media-has-evened-the-scales/)