'It's a male chauvinistic attitude'

Darshan Saga
Last Updated 12 September 2011, 12:26 IST

But what really shocked one and all was the three-year ban imposed by the Kannada Film Producers’ Association (KFPA) on actress Nikita Thukral for her alleged role in the marital dispute between Darshan and his wife.

Providing unabashed support to the actor, the KFPA, in a statement, had announced that the actress was a ‘mental and physical distraction’ to the star on and off the sets. The president of KFPA, Munirathna, stands by this and even feels that this was necessary.

“If she had come to the sets only to act, none of this would have taken place and the couple would have been happy right now,” says Munirathna. 

This move was not only condemned by the public but also by many in the industry. Director Kavitha Lankesh says that the Association has made a mockery of the law and the situation and that it has no right to ban a working artiste for being a ‘distraction’.

“It’s a completely male chauvinistic attitude. More than half the industry is involved in casting couches and affairs, but nobody questions that. Today, it is this girl. Tomorrow, how many more heroines are they going to ban for being a ‘distraction’? The way it is going, I feel the men in the industry might as well dress up like women and act,” she says.

Hemalatha, an advocate and a women’s rights activist, says that according to law, no voluntary association has the right to impose a ban like this. “Nikita has the right to act in any film she wants to and no one can impose a ban on her. As individuals, if producers don’t want her in their films, it’s upto them. But as an association, no one can stop her. Instead, she can sue them for defamation,” adds Hemalatha.  

Former Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce president and actress Jayamala, too agrees with Kavitha. The veteran actress says that it’s incidents like these that highlight how male dominated the society is at large.

“It is  really a sad turn of events. Anyone with a conscience can see that Darshan is to be blamed and not the actress. Nobody has evidence of them having an affair and even if they were, the Association has no right to ban them. At the end of the day, I only wish Darshan regrets what he has done. No woman should face any sort of torture and in this situation, two women had to bear the brunt of it,” she adds. Not all producers agree with the decision taken by KFPA.

Producer K Manju describes it as a rash decision and the ban shouldn’t have been passed in the first place. “Friendship between two actors is a common thing. But saying that it has led to distraction was a wrong statement by the association. I have written a letter to the president of KFPA requesting him to withdraw the ban and to talk to the actress and sort things out,” adds Manju. 

The big question is why there is no ban on Darshan. Ask Munirathna this and he reverts, “This is a warning for others, so that actresses don’t get into affairs. If they do, the producers face the loss with movies getting stalled. As for Darshan, we know he is at fault too but the case is still in court. So we can’t make any rash statements on him till he gets bail. But if Nikita files a written complaint against him, we will take action against him as well.”

Women power maybe celebrated in movies but in reality it’s a different ball game altogether.

(Published 12 September 2011, 12:26 IST)

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