We seem to have misplaced priorities and it reflects when social issues, politics and other issues are enveloped by our interest in cinema. And although, cinema reflects society, it sometimes influences people with portrayals of crime against women, rape, eve-teasing and glorifying molestation in the name of romance. This has been a long-standing concern.

Recently, three women IPS officers of Tamil Nadu acted in a video directed by Covai Post, calling out to directors and filmmakers to stop showing violence against women in movies. South Indian films have an extreme attitude of showing explicit violence against women as was the case in Bollywood in the 90s.

The video shows content of movies of actors like Simbu, Dhanush, GV Prakash and Sivakarthikeyan. It plays a few dialogues and lyrics from their movies, which are then analysed by the police officers.

DCP S Lakshmi (Law and order, Coimbatore city), SP Ramya Bharathi (Coimbatore District), and DCP Disha Mittal (Law and order, Tiruppur city) are the three police officers featured in the video. They reveal that the underlying emotion of the content said in the films is highly capable of influencing the youth of the country into carrying out heinous crimes.

“We call our nation Bharath Mata, we have named our rivers after women — this is a country that takes pride in its women. Lots of people have toiled for women’s liberation. But even now, as Periyar said, women are still seen as a drug or as a stand to drape jewellery. This is why we continue to see women being degraded in society,” DCP Lakshmi said in the video.

She added, “If you watch today’s films, you’ll see that most of them have lyrics that degrade women in every which way. Cinema is a very powerful medium. Cinema creates a great impact on people, especially on the youth. When the medium is so powerful, it should be used well. From lyrics degrading women, the songs today promote violence against them. The people writing these lyrics, acting in these films, and those directing these, should have some social responsibility. They should remember that they too have women in their homes. They too have sisters, wives, mothers — they should think a bit. It’s very wrong to do this without thinking. They should be convinced that these depictions are capable of changing how the youth thinks.”

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Two of Lakshmi’s other colleagues also agreed with her thoughts. “Movies are the greatest influence in today’s context and sadly, it has become a major factor in the rise in crimes against women. Movie dialogues and lyrics, be it positive or negative, they mould the thoughts, perceptions and attitudes of young people particularly,” said DCP Ramya.

The video ended with the three IPS officers appealing to filmmakers not to promote toxic content in their movies and help in decreasing crimes against women.

This video came after the highly controversial murder of Infosys employee Swathi by her alleged stalker last year.

Picture credit- The News Minute