पटना के लड़के, लड़कियाँ और पिंक

एक अच्छी फ़िल्म का असर कहां कहां होता है, कोई नहीं जानता। पिंक ऐसी ही एक फ़िल्म है। शालीन भारतीय पुलिस सेवा के वरिष्ठ अधिकारी हैं। डी आई जी, पटना के पद पर हैं। उनका यह लेख प्रकाश के ज़रिये मिला तो पढ़ते ही लगा कि छापते हैं। यह लेख नहीं है। व्हाट्स अप के ज़रिये चंद मित्रों के बीच साझा किया गया कमेंट है।पिंक देखने के बाद मैं लगातार सोच रहा हूं। फिल्मों में पुलिस सिस्टम हमेशा खलनायक की तरह आता रहा है लेकिन पिंक में इसे उभारने के लिए किसी बड़े संवाद या कुर्सी तोड़ स्टंट का सहारा नहीं लिया गया है। फिल्म बिना कहे पुलिस सिस्टम को एक्सपोज़ करती चलती है। फिल्म देखते वक्त आप सिर्फ दर्शक होते हैं लेकिन उस फिल्म में जब आप भी होते हैं तो सिर्फ दर्शक नहीं रह जाते। शालीन के इस कमेंट में आपको सिर्फ एक दर्शक नहीं दिखेगा।

shalin

I am neither an avid movie watcher nor a keen cinema goer but persuaded by a colleague’s strong recommendation, I decided to watch the movie ‘pink’. It is indeed a very well made movie that captures the moods,hues and texture of Delhi and its surroundings in an eerily realistic manner.The incidents depicted, the language and accents used and the overall ambience makes you immediately connect with the narrative.There is something in the story that an average person can relate to very naturally.

The movie is even more relevant and topical for me personally as recently we have launched a major effort to make Patna safer for its women and girls. It includes a two pronged approach -a) reach out to the girls and ask them to come forward and lodge complaints if they are being subjected to harassment, stalking or any other kind of assault and b) try and sensitize our police people so that any complaint thus received may be responded to seriously and immediately.

The first objective was achieved by police officers (me included) visiting several girls’schools,colleges and hostels and addressing the women and girls there. The impact of such visits was amplified by the media coverage that they got making several more young women and girls aware of what we were trying to achieve.The second objective was a bigger challenge as the patriarchal mindset that causes these problems in the first place also exists in no small measure within our own law enforcement fraternity. In order to counter this, policemen of various ranks were taken to interactive sessions with girls and women and an effort was made to introduce some attitudinal change. It was also made clear that if any incident reported was either ignored or suppressed, swift and strict departmental action would follow. As a result,in the last month and a half alone more than 70 cases related to harassment of women have been lodged in various police stations of Patna.These are currently under different stages of investigation.

What prompted me the most to write about this movie was a very strikingly real issue that it captured so poignantly. Let me explain. In many cases of stalking,harassment etc.of young women that we are pursuing currently,the most common defense from the boys’ side has been “oh, but he is studying in such a good university ” or ” he is from such a respectable family” …and the best one ” but they knew and liked each other. How can he stalk her?” This is precisely what has been addressed so effectively by this movie. Its basic premise that prior acquaintance, even intimacy does not give any man the right to pounce upon a woman is laudable and indeed a far cry from the kind of cinema that actually treats stalking as an essential part of courtship and a necessary prelude to any romantic liaison.In some other cases that we came across,the reason given for a boy’s misdemeanor was that he had been rejected by the girl he loved.The ‘jilted lover’ story may evoke a lot of sympathy, even empathy in some men, yet it can be no justification for assault or cyber bullying in any civilized society. The recent brutal stabbing of a young woman in Delhi clearly and unambiguously illustrates that.

I find this movie appealing as a police officer also because it strongly advocates taking the legal route to address such issues and spares us the short shrift nonsense of girls’undergoing a crash course in judo karate and turning themselves into vigilante. Self defense techniques take years to master and although it would be great if more and more of our young girls can actually become adept and defend themselves from the perverts that lurk everywhere but a quick fix kind of training can be counterproductive by inducing in the girls a false sense of security which might be very detrimental in a given situation.It is only by prosecuting such people legally that we can finally send a strong and effective message as a society .

I really feel that our image as a nation nay a civilisation is severely and adversely affected by our propensity for crimes against women. with more and more women stepping out into different spheres of professional activity,it is imperative that their flight towards freedom and empowerment is not allowed to be cut short by predators and perverts. as allama Iqbal so aptly said “parwaaz hai dono ki isi aik fazaa mein.kargas ka jahan aur hai shaheen ka jahan aur”. A combined and concerted effort from our civil society, police and the entire criminal justice system is required to keep these vultures at bay so that the falcons can fly and soar unhindered in our skies carrying with them the hopes and ambitions of half our humanity.