Today I read this blog post, and…well, let’s just say I haven’t felt this angry in a while. If you can’t be bothered to read the blog post/related news articles, here’s a breakdown of what happened:
- Kannada actor Darshan was arrested for assaulting his wife (Vijayalakshmi) and threatening to kill their child, reportedly whilst drunk.
- Vijayalakshmi’s medical report suggested that she had sustained multiple injuries including cigarette burns and bruising. She also needed stitches.
- Vijayalakshmi filed a 5-page complaint against Darshan, in which she also stated that he had threatened her with a gun
- Darshan’s “loyal fans” were outraged at the allegations and called for his release by holding marches, and even by damaging local buses
- Well-known stars of the Kannada film industry got involved, showing their support for the actor.
- Some of these actors met the wife in hospital, and “pacified” her, persuading her to withdraw her complaint by assuring her that such an incident won’t happen again.
- Vijayalakshmi then withdrew her complaint, claiming that her injuries were the result of a fall in the bathroom
- The dispute was said to be due to a suspected affair between Darshan and actress Nikitha. As a result, the Kannada Film Producers’ Association have banned Nikitha from acting for 3 years
That is the gist of what happened, and I don’t even know how to get my head around it.
[I have a lot to say, but I'm going to try and keep it as brief as possible.]
What has the industry become? Why are the fans so disillusioned as to think it’s okay for their idol to carry out something like this? The fact that a group of them can come together to DEFEND such actions is beyond me. Is it purely because the guy is famous?
In this era which prides itself on the huge strides taken in the fight for gender equality, the fact that the “other woman” in this saga is the one who is punished by the industry is ridiculous. Darshan was physically abusive to someone. His wife, no less. Yet somehow, these people think an alleged affair is worse than landing someone in hospital? The affair is enough to ban Nikitha from working, but the assault doesn’t even warrant time in jail or a court case?
Several Kannada stars – one of whom is referred to as a “veteran” in this article – jump to the defence of the perpetrator, and persuade the wife to withdraw her complaint. How? By simply assuring her that she can blame them if it happens again. She shouldn’t have to fear it happening again…it shouldn’t even have happened in the first place.
These people live their lives in the limelight out of choice and should, in my opinion, have a sense of social/moral responsibility. This is inexcusable behaviour, and the fact that other famous personalities have stepped in to defend the incident suggests that they, in some way, think that it is acceptable.
Being a celebrity is something to be taken seriously. Everything you do will be captured, analysed and often mimicked by fans who worship the ground you walk on. As it is, the attitudes towards domestic violence in India are horrible. Add to that the fact that actors – who are the most worshipped / loved / revered of the celebrities in India – are going around trying to get an abusive colleague out of trouble, and you’re just helping society to regress. It’s bad enough that abuse (and also rape) is often distastefully glorified on-screen in these industries, but for these actions to be glorified like this in real life is something these people, and the industry as a whole should be ashamed of.