Every other Friday there is at least one new release in theatres glorifying stalking young girls as one of the acts of heroism.
The recent murder of Chennai techie Swathi has brought the film industry's role in promoting stalking among the impressionable youths into question.
Swathi, a techie with Infosys, was allegedly hacked to death by an engineering graduate, Ramkumar, at Nungambakkam railway station in Chennai last month. He had been allegedly stalking her for months and killed her as she rejected his love for her.
While it is not fair to pin stalking menace entirely on the film fraternity, its contribution to the thriving culture of stalking in our society is significant. Films cutting across language barriers in India have played up stalking as a way to win over a girl.
A noble romantic gesture, equivalent to never-give-up attitude, for which all girls eventually fall for.
All major movie stars in Bollywood and down south have played romantic characters, which were just straight up stalkers, on-screen. In a country where film stars are treated like demi-gods, needless to say the kind of impact they make on the minds of young people.
An online petition has been started against on-screen stalking. Responding to this petition, actor Siddharth, who has given hit films, both in Hindi and in other south Indian languages, slammed the way films glorify stalking.
“When a woman stalks a man in our films she's a vamp. When a man does it, he is a hero. It's a complicated discussion. But it needs to be had,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
“We've been selling a terrible dream in our films for long. That any man can get the woman he wants just by wanting her enough. Must change!,” he added.
Perhaps, he is the first major actor to take a stand against on-screen stalking.
The films for decades have promoted stalking as the only sure-shot way to woo a girl. Well, it is not. And it is high time the film industry acknowledges this fact and make amends.