Before I commence, I'm assuming you've all watched Pink. If you haven't, watch it now. For those who have, you'd know that the standout message of the movie was, if a girl says 'no', you stop. Irrespective of who she is, what is she wearing, what time of the day (or night) it is, or how much chow mein you've had, YOU STOP.
However, a lot of Bollywood movies and pop culture in general would like you to believe otherwise. It's shocking and disturbing, yes, but that's just how things are.
Time and again, you'll see movies where the guy is repeatedly 'wooing' a girl in the hopes of her saying 'yes'. Sadly, in some time, she does. And this, in a sub-conscious way, legitimizes stalking. It tells a boy that if he is persistent, the girl will eventually give in. It's a mindset that boys grow up with and seeing their favourite Hindi film heroes endorse it on-screen, further solidifies the thought.
Remember Dhanush's incessant stalking in Raanjhanna? Or Shahid Kapoor's downright-disgusting behaviour in R... Rajkumar? The latter even had a song, Maari Maari, where the hero is misbehaving with the heroine, all in the name of pataoing her!
Is this romantic? No. It's nothing but stalking. And it needs to stop. Right now!
What further makes things worse are reports of Bollywood celebrities somehow encouraging stalking in the name of fandom.
Stories of a fan's incessant behaviour just to get his matinee idol's attention are plenty. And more often than not, they all result in the celebrity lodging a police complaint. The fan may or may not have had a cruel intention. But you can't just follow a person, celebrity or not, right? To ensure that he/she stays away, you have to take precautionary action.
Sadly, Shraddha Kapoor thinks otherwise.
As per a report in India Today, while promoting her newest release Rock On 2 at a concert, when Shraddha saw her 'fan' in the crowd, she decided to call him onstage, introduce him to the crowd and give him a hug. WTF!
She even proudly announced that this was the 17th time she saw him in the same day. She'd seen him outside her house, on the set and at many other places before. It makes me wonder if she's ever heard of stalking!
What example was Shraddha trying to set? That if you persistently follow a woman, 17 times in a day if that's what it takes, you'll eventually get a hug from her?
At a time when women's safety is a bigger concern than it's ever been, this is what Shraddha thought she must do post encountering her stalker, yet again?
We know how expecting much from our celebrities isn't the wisest choice. They make callous remarks, denounce feminism and apart from making token statements about prevalent issues, rarely have much else to say. But can we not expect basic sense from them either?
You'd think being a woman, Shraddha would know better. You'd believe she'd know that by encouraging her 'fans' on a public platform, she's further legitimizing stalking. Clearly, Shraddha knows no such thing!
She may have wanted to show how generous and loving she is towards her fans. What she's proven instead is how insensitive Bollywood can get!
We expected better, Shraddha!