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Are students aping the violence in films?

Friday, 9 November 2012 - 1:06pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: dna

For two consecutive days this week, the city witnessed horrific incidents of students being hacked to death after feuds over girls, the sort of thing that has become the staple of recent Kannada films.

On Tuesday, a student was chased and hacked to death in broad daylight in front of the Tamil Sangam office near Ulsoor Lake by a gang of youth enraged by his relationship with a girl. The following day, a BCom student from Electronic City was similarly attacked when he tried to prevent harassment of his lover by somebody she had spurned.

These are scenarios that have become the regular fare in recent Kannada films. In Om, for example, the hero resorts to violence to ensure that no evil eye falls on his lover. Many real underworld characters acted in this movie, including Jedarahalli Krishnappa, Bekkina Kannu (Cat Eye) Raajendra, Korangu, and Tanveer.

Some of them had to be bailed out just to act in the movie. In Upendra, the protagonist’s appeal is in delivering innuendoes that denigrate young girls. And the Yogesh-starrer Kaalaya Tasmai Namaha starts and ends with violence, so much so that it had to be withdrawn from theatres.

It takes no rocket science to infer that such hyped up violence in films has an impact on the impressional minds of youth, who tend to mimic glorified villains. Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen,  hearing a PIL on the tardy investigation of rape cases, observed in the High Court on Wednesday that vulgar dancing in films may be a factor in crimes against women.

There are actual examples of this too. An accused person had claimed that he got inspired by the Kamal Hassan-starrer Red Roses on how to kill girls. Another accused confessed to the police that he got the idea on how to steal after watching Pooja Gandhi-starrer Dandupalya.

But K Nagaraj, regional officer, Central Censor Board, begs to differ.
“I can’t agree with you that cinema is the sole cause for the increase in violence in society. The publicity for crime news and glorification of criminals in media contribute a lot for youth to select violence as the method to achieve their goals. Most of the TV channels have exclusive programmes on crime. The Censor Board never encourages glorification of violence in films. We have recommended 25 cuts for the film Dandupalya and gave ‘A’ certificate to it. We give ‘A’ certificates to films that have a number of violence-related scenes,’’ said Nagaraj.

Disagreeing with Nagaraj, Sadashiv Shenoy, director of Prarthane, was of the opinion that scriptwriters and directors should take precautions to avoid glorifying violence.  Shenoy pointed out that Upendra and Darshan have huge fan followings across the state and scriptwriters have to take extra care to avoid dialogues that promote violence. “There were some artistes who repeat the same dialogues that degrade girls. They are interested in their careers and not bothered about the impact of such dialogues,’’ said Shenoy.

Dr Ali Kwaja, city-based psychiatrist, said scenes in films where the hero gets away with anything he does do have an influence on adolescents. Voicing a similar opinion, Dr M Srihari, psychologist, Bangalore Medical College, said that not only films but also the environment in which youth are brought up contributes a lot to the surge in violent behaviour.

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