Kabir Singh’s Director Sandeep Reddy Endorses Physical Violence In A Relationship. Kya Bakwaas Kar Raha Hai?
On the daily, I read a lot. Not only because I am passionate about it and enjoy it, but also because it’s a part of my profession. From reading books to articles, reading quotes to watching videos and interview, every day involves a lot of inflow of information. So if I were to take the liberty and say something, I’d call myself somewhat well-read- that is after years and years of immesesing myself in books and the world of the written word. But in all of these years of reading, not once was I introduced to the novel concept being able to get violent with your partner in a relationship, as a way of showing love. I mean, maybe I was reading the wrong books but surely somewhere I would have read that this was a way to show love? Because I have only seen this as abuse. But then the very enlightened Sandeep Reddy, director of the film Kabir Singh came along and inducted us into this wonderfully cute world of violent romances and we are thinking, ” OMG, I have been missing out on getting beaten up in the name of love all this time.” We have only experienced romance where the guy respected us and our opinion and apparently, we have been doing love all wrong.
Kabir Singh dropped at the box office a few weeks ago, and while the box office collections soared, our faith in humanity and Bollywood, tanked. A movie that, in one fell swoop, undid decades worth of efforts of women to undo the definition of love from the male perspective. We made movies about women, their lives, their wants and needs. We talked about women working, about accepting their sexuality. And then, this movie came along, normalised the culture of violence in relationships and a large section of the audience is now rooting for a guy who is not just crazy, but also a sexist and misogynist pig. This is also the movie that opened a dialogue on whether or not the character Kabir Singh stood in the right, and for the longest time we thought that it is just his character that we had a problem with. But turns out, the roots of this problem go much deeper, so deep , in fact, it alsmost makes Kabir Singh sound like an amiable, likeable character. We say this because the director of the movie, Sandeep Reddy was interviewed by Anupama Chopra and the problem is that he opened his mouth when he should have, if we had our way, be thrown in jail.
The director came to the rescue of his misogynistic character by saying things that were just as misogynist and troubled as he seems to be. He said, “When you are deeply in love and deeply connected with a woman, and vice versa, there’s a lot of honesty in it. If you don’t have that physical demonstration… you don’t have the liberty of slapping each other, then I don’t see anything there.” So let us get this right, you’re basically saying that a relationship is not so much as a relationship if there is no power to ‘abuse’ each other in it. Hmm, either it us who have mistaken the concept of relationship and harassment or it is him, because this clearly doesn’t make any sense.
If a man is deeply connected with you – He will NEVER LAY HIS HANDS ON YOU.
He will NEVER slap you.
He will NEVER TOUCH YOU without your consent.
Women (and young boys) have been told for aeons that being beaten up is a sign of *Love* / *Discipline*.
IT IS ABUSE!
— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) July 7, 2019
— Kubbra Sait (@KubbraSait) July 7, 2019
Sandeep Reddy, unknowingly stoked the very allegations and controversies that were surrounding the movie, by somehow promoting such toxic masculinity and getting us to really worry about the kind of relationships he has had where everyone must resort to slapping the other to demonstrate their “honest” love. So, and we are just extrapolating here, bruises from beating each other up (otherwise called domestic violence) should be called love bites?
And turns out it is not just us who didn’t take this well, actresses like Samantha Akkineni, Chinmayi and Kubra Sait also took to social media to express just how deeply disturbing Sandeep’s connotations were.
I’ll leave you with this thought.
Good night. pic.twitter.com/WOrWJy0ECn
— Kubbra Sait (@KubbraSait) July 7, 2019
The fact that up till now, the debate was about a character and how his character arc was giving out the wrong kind of a message has now taken an ugly turn with the director taking it up a notch further and promoting abuse. This is worrying at too many levels. And we feel that in a desperate attempt to stand up for his work, he may have opened up a can of worms that, at this point, we hope bit his sorry ass.
However, realising the kind of reactions his words invoked, he issued a statement Times Now clarifying his statements by saying, “I’m not endorsing that (physical violence). I can’t reply to everybody in this world. When people are deeply connected in love they should not shy away from the fact that they can show their worst side to each other. That’s what love is all about. You took me completely wrong. It’s not assault. It’s about the liberty of the expression between a couple who is deeply connected. It works for a woman also and it works for a man also. I spoke for both the sides. But sadly, they are quoting in a very wrong way.”
Except, there were no two connotations to what he said, and nothing he says now will cover up the fact, that this is how problematic his thinking is, and clearly found an outlet in the problematic character that is Kabir Singh.