Save our Kids from Junk

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“I am almost seven ammamma”, argued my grandson, who had turned six two weeks back! This conversation took place last month when I forbade him from watching a cartoon movie as the recommended age for watching it happened to be seven and above.  After much argument and thorough scrutiny from his grumpy grandma, the poor boy was allowed to watch that innocuous movie!

Recently, a blockbuster movie of a superstar was released with great fanfare and greater claims of that movie doing business as never before in history. I myself witnessed this euphoria twice in the coming weeks when my partner and I set out for a drive. Both times we had to wait an incredibly long time on the road in our car because we had to navigate through the road of the theatre where this movie was playing! I was definitely amused to see people and vehicles brimming over to the roadside and the traffic police having a tough time. As I am no fan of popular entertaining movies as such, I carried on with my chores, hardly knowing anything about such a movie.

A few weeks later, the above-said movie was released on an OTT platform. As is the wont, I watched the movie with my partner in the luxury of my living room, cuddled safely on my recliner, ready to sleep at any point of time! To say the least, this movie actually left me without any sleep! It happens to be a UA-certified movie, which means kids above twelve can watch this movie with parental guidance.

I was absolutely flabbergasted at the cruel, blood-curdling violence that was shown throughout the movie. People get killed dime a dozen, in the most chilling and cruel ways possible. I watched with disbelief a scene in which the hero asks his family to stay put at their dining table while he goes on finishing people one after the other in the most crude and blood-chilling way possible. Gore, violence, blood spills everywhere. He hands out tissues to his family to wipe the blood away from their faces while he is executing people! I could imagine what response this scene would have evoked in his fans in a theatre! How much applauding would have been witnessed there? What really made me sad was how remorseless this popular hero was shown while executing these killings. In fact, he was shown as doing something noteworthy, as if winning a grand slam or something, while executing all these killings!

We live in a society where celluloid heroes are considered as role models, so much so that they go on to become chief ministers and have their eyes on becoming prime minister of the country! I have absolutely nothing against anyone from the tinsel world or any profession for that matter, coming into politics or occupying responsible positions. The only thing that makes me sad is the absolute lack of social responsibility shown by the creative people, directors, actors or story writers behind these movies. We saw a generation of youngsters in Tamilnadu throw up their cigarettes and catch them with precision just as their celluloid hero did on screen!, not to mention thousands becoming addicted to smoking just as their popular hero.

Every single day, we keep hearing about the most chilling juvenile crimes. Reports of teens committing the most heinous crimes and reports of their remorseless behaviour freeze our blood. If a society, deeply immersed in a culture of hero worship, handed over to them by their parents too sometimes, happens to witness movies of this kind where their popular hero is lauded for his remorseless killings, what else can we expect our teens to do?

Some time back, there was a report of a ten-year-old girl in a government school complaining to her teacher about some teenage boys in her school raping her. Not only was she listened to but was called mad by the so-called teacher, which encouraged the boys to rape her again. Only when her family came to know about it, a complaint was registered. The saddest part is the girl was sent away to a distant school away from her parents, to save her from trauma while the boys continue to study in the same school because they are minors. I am sure the authenticity of this report will be established after a long time only. What really scares me and pains me is the ease with which these crimes are committed and the remorseless reactions from the teens.

How can a society that can assure no safety to its kids call itself cultured in any way? How can the parents ever monitor their ward if a popular hero loved by all goes on to commit chilly murders on screen with great precision without an iota of remorse? How can a society make any progress if the so-called creative minds think of nothing but making crores at the box office?

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. Let us not treat our children to junk -neither in food nor in movies!

Disclaimer:

This write-up is not about any one popular hero or a film-maker. This is about the brazenness that has crept into all creative fields with money-making alone as their goal.

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Viji Narayan
vijinarayan

Viji Narayan is a bilingual freelance writer from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Her articles and poems are regularly published in popular newspapers, such as The Hindu, The Times of India. Her works are also available on many national and international literary platforms. And she tries to live everyday.

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