It was heartening indeed to see today’s headlines. For once, people who matter have spoken up for the right thing. The Rajkumar family, the first family of Sandalwood for all practical purposes, has spoken out against the decision of the Karnataka Producers’ Association to ban Nikita Thukral.
I was simply aghast at the way things unravelled. First the reports of the severe abuse Darshan, the “superstar” actor, subjected his wife to. Then the rush to safeguard and even defend him. And finally, the absolutely shocking decision to ban Nikita. It smacked of sheer injustice, gender bias, and regional bias. Apparently, they wanted to send out a warning to her and other such heroines. It boggles the mind to think that the main culprit (with a history of abuse) who waved around a gun, beat up his wife, and apparently even burnt her with cigarettes, was left untouched! Instead he was safely whisked away to a hospital because, not surprisingly, he suffered from several health problems which surfaced just then.
What was even worse was the complete silence from the film industry in the face of such a blatantly biased decision. It showed up once and for all how women are treated in Sandalwood. As objects, as pawns, as scapegoats, and as the root of all evil.
That’s why, in this murky business, the Rajkumar family’s pronouncements come as a breath of fresh air, both sensible and sensitive. More power to them.