Throwback Thursday: Salman Khan’s Tere Naam Glorifies Stalking And Violation Of Consent. I Am Calling It The OG Kabir Singh
They say that cinema is a reflection of our society, maybe a bit dramatised one. At least that’s how they justify flawed characters and sexism in Bollywood movies. Because sexism does exist in our society. However, what they fail to understand is that it is always from a male perspective. Let me explain. When in movies like Kabir Singh, they show a toxic male who is stalking a woman and crossing all boundaries with her, the woman ends up falling in love with him. That is beyond my understanding because I can’t imagine why this behaviour is a turn on for someone, or anyone. Like hey, you’re being an asshole and doing things that are borderline criminal. Don’t! It’ll make me fall in love with you because I am a mal-adjusted individual who seeks validation from an idiot like you. Here are the bruises my prince charming gave me. So I happened to revisit Salman Khan’s Tere Naam today, and I realised the underlying theme is very much similar to Kabir Singh’s. Both the movies have disturbing qualities assigned to a guy and the girl falls for those.
Take a look at Tere Naam. Salman Khan plays the role of Radhe Mohan and that in itself is the biggest irony ever. He is unemployed, rowdy and violent except occasionally he stands up for the right things, like a woman’s dignity. Bhumika Chawla plays the role of Nirjara, a temple priest’s daughter. She cleans the temple, sings bhajans and is an obedient daughter. She has no other interests or hobbies like most evolved human beings have, but that’s okay, to each his own. Radhe falls in love with Nirjara at first sight but she is already engaged to someone else.
Now, in real life, Radhe would have backed out or at least Nirjara would have hated him for stalking her. But Radhe goes on to threaten her that if she refuses his love, he will beat her dad up. What is true love if not convincing your love by threatening violence? So she says yes out of fear but later his overbearing love makes her puke the truth out (or was it his hideous hairstyle?) She scolds him for being a goon and forcing his love on her. And that’s where the movie should have really ended. But well, he goes on to kidnap her, tie her up and violently break things around her. And somehow she falls head-over-heels in love with him after that. Also, right before that she finds out that he saved her sister from being forced into prostitution. But he is still a kidnapper and she is now kinda cool with that because good heart and all that.
With that, all characters in the film threw their sanity away. In the movie, Radhe gets hit on the head and is sent to an asylum. So at some point, he gets his sanity back but the asylum people aren’t convinced so they beat him up. Outside the asylum, people are treating Nirjara like livestock and passing her from an unstable Radhe to her the guy she was engaged to.
ALSO READ: Throwback Thursday: No Entry Trivialises Cheating, Is Full Of Sexist Jokes And Makes Women Look Stupid
Dear Bollywood, can you please stop showing that women fall in love with a toxic male? Because we don’t find violation of consent and abuse attractive. Thanks.