Why do all our popular cuss words or gaalis originate from references to violence against women? And why does popular culture glorify them? Why do some films normalise violence? Like Salman Khan slapping Karishma Kapoor when she drinks and dances with “white men” in David Dhawan’s ‘Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge’ while reminding her how to be a ‘Indian ladki’. Casual sexism is a part and parcel of our popular cinema but sometimes they also go to the extent of normalising violence and abuse. If an article on a news website is to be believed, Censor Board won’t allow such violent scenes directed against women any more. The Board is reportedly against allowing violence against women even in films based on the theme of domestic violence.
According to the report a woman can be shown with bruises to depict that she has faced violence, but the actual act of violence will not be shown on screen. In terms of cuss words, even words like ‘saali’ won’t be acceptable. This might seem like an overreach by the Censor Board. Many might argue that it is akin to clipping the wings of directors and taking away their creative independence to shape their character.
However, the normalisation of sexism and violence against women in films can not be ignored any longer. It has reached a level where interventions need to be made. Although, it is debatable whether not being able to show the level of torture some women face in their marriage or in any other circumstances would leave any impact on the audience.
Perhaps, exceptions can be made on the basis of whether the violence is embedded in the film to cater to voyeurism and sadistic pleasures of a viewer or to hammer home the abuse that women face both inside and outside the safety of their houses. Perhaps a blanket ban on such scene would be detrimental to the process of film-making. But, unlike many of its illogical cuts, one does see good intention behind this move.
Story source: DNA