Silent Tears

Actor Darshan’s domestic violence case is in the news because he happens to be a celebrity.Turn to Page 2 of today’s TOI and you would know varying cases of domestic violence that ordinary middle class and lower middle class women are subjected to on a every day basis.

A years ago, when I just started my career in a software firm, a girl who worked with us was subjected to marital violence soon after her marriage.She was a very confident girl, who spoke her mind.Her parents got her married to someone that worked in the U.A.E.After marriage, he stayed in BLR and decided to take up a job.It so happened, that he was impotent and showed his frustation at his newly married wife.He even tried to strangulate her one morning, and she ran from his home to her parents home without even passing to pick additional clothes or money. She was lucky since her parents happened to be in the same town.She got a divorce , and when her parents started seeing new marriage alliances for her, her ex-husband started spreading false rumours about her. She did find a nice guy and eventually started a blissful married life a year or two later.

But the trauma and agony that she faced in her early 20’s will probably stay for ever.She was from a very decent middle class family, her brother worked in a famous software firm.Why then did they rush through her wedding.She did have a  job , so  she wasn’t even a liability to her parents. So, what made them rush into finding a NRI guy , for whom no background check was done?Unfortunately, parents rush into finding a groom simply because they believe getting their daughters married off is a big task that has to be completed when the parents, and other elders are still in the best of  their health.More so, pressure from grand parents who get emotional state “We want to see the potha/pothi getting married when we are still alive”

There is a thought deep down that a marriage makes a woman complete.

If this is the case with educated middle class, I shudder to think what lower middle class women are subjected to! And many of them don’t even have the support system .Most families would want their girls to adjust and give in because if they came home after breaking a marriage, it would mean , an additional stomach to feed and worst still, “a society issue”

I had read somewhere that in some remote villages in  India, women are taught how to behave after the marriage.Probably they teach how to keep silent inspite of marital violence, how never to raise their hands or voice in return, and how to raise kids, never think of their needs and independence, how to respect elders and so and so forth…

It seems many helplines don’t function at all.And if they did function, the counsellors get indecent prank calls from the callers.

Something needs to change and the change has to happen NOW!!



Reel Life God, Real life Villain

A local Kannada hero who romances the heroines  and beats up the baddies on screen , in real life hits his wife with his shoe, burns her with cigarette stubs and threatened to kill her by holding a pistol towards her. The wife lodges a complaint with the BLR police, but soon is asked to reconsider her decision since senior actors and producers intervene and ask her to reconsider her decision. Meanwhile, his fans protest, the actor complaints of asthma,breathlessness and instead of landing in jail, enjoys stay in a premium hospital in Bangalore. The Karnataka film association meanwhile thinks it can bring some sense into the mind of a non-localite Mumbai actress, who  it believes is the cause for the marital tension and bans her from the Kannada film industry for a good 3 years.

So, what does this episode mean to us?

It simply means

A)If you are popular,then you can get away with any crime , even if it means wife beating and domestic violence

B)A marriage in India means adjusting not just with your new husband, but then with his entire family.Since this happens to be a high profile case, it so happened that every one seems to intervene and the poor wife who was tortured was asked to shut up

C)If you are popular, you can check-in to any posh hospital and fake illness!

D)It shows how much idol/hero worship we blindly do.Most likely his fans are the front-benchers who whistle at their hero’s chivalry,  and think its macho enough to beat a lady black and blue.

E)There is too much moral policing.Even if the Mumbai actress did have an affair with the actor which was the cause for the marriage to break,it is a matter to be sorted out between the 3 adults.Without even consulting the actress, she was banned from the industry.And some one at the top of the industry affairs, even goes on to say , it would teach others a lesson not to mess with an actor’s marriage for personal gains

F)There is too much money riding on these actors.If he were jailed, his movies would flop and the producers would be at great loss.So the film industry gets together and intervenes and the poor lady who was traumatised by her husband has to take back her case and lie that she fell in the bathroom! ok! probably you fell and broke your arms, but what about those burn marks lady????

G)A lot of other actors and actresses want to keep mum on this issue because speaking against the powerful producers guilt means doing a “Aa bhains bujhe maar” Act!. They simply fear the consequences.

What I ask is why is the industry not accepting that their hero did a grave mistake of wife beating .It’s a clear case of severe domestic violence where a wife gets beaten for close to 3 hours and a toddler is left traumatized.Why is an actress blamed for this? Was the actor a milk-drinking-baby to get carried away, even if we did assume that the actress tried to trap him?Was he the innocent rat in the Pied Pier story to sway if the actress indeed tried to lure him? If a man and woman are caught indulging in an extra marital affair, why is the woman blamed for it?

There is too much slush .It is hard to clean a society which primarily runs on money power and status! Darshan should now sing the song “Nayak Nahi..Kalnayak hoon mein”