Every time I surf you tube to watch some recent Punjabi songs and movies, or even Hindi songs featuring actresses hailing from Punjab or Punjabi background, I burn when I read comments written by otherwise chauvinistic males practicing age old practices in their homes for the actresses hailing from Punjab or Punjabi background. We all know about few videos featuring one top actress under whom every Tom Dick and Harry has given their comments. Who has given the right to the males to decide that actresses from Punjab or Punjabi background are a dirty blot on the name of Punjabi or Punjabiyat.
Not long ago we had a heated discussion here on Punjabi Portal about one actress with reasoning of few being that being an actress is a profession like being a nurse or being a doctor touching every patient is just a part of the profession.
Are we embarrassed when our daughters become doctors knowing that they might have to touch sick and ailing patients from every kind of background? Are we embarrassed when our daughters become air-hostesses knowing that they have to carry trash and have to respect every kind of passenger aboard the flights? Are we embarrassed when our daughters join police force knowing that they have to deal with every kind of criminal?
Are these people, who have only loose talk for our Punjabi actresses, going to be our audience base and define future of Punjabi Cinema? Why do we cry that Punjabi cinema is not progressing ahead? Why do we cry that Punjabi cinema does not have enough actresses?
Why girls, when they join modeling or acting, become a blot on the name of Punjabiyat?
And if that is the case, let us discuss some true black spots on the name of Punjabiyat.
1. The aspiring and established actresses are not a black spot on the name of Punjabi. Ask those men who did paper marriage with their sisters and cousins and sister-in-law to get a visa to US and Canada and other countries, where was their self-respect when they did that. And ask their children today who have grown up and bold enough to write whatever they want for the actresses who are working hard and earning well for themselves. If showing body to earn money is a sin, marrying falsely your real cousin or sister-in-law to get a visa is also a sin and this sin is more widely known to the world than little success of few actresses. Apne fathers te mothers nu jaa ke pucho, Punjabiyat de naam de dhabba kaun!
2. In female feticide we lead the world. Period! There is no controversy here. In a study conducted by Harvard where they compared rate of female feticide among Punjabis living abroad and Punjabis living in India, the rates were strikingly the same. Many a time I have read stories about Punjabi women being forced to travel to India to conduct abortions when their families comes to know that the fetus is a girl as even when it is legal to know the sex of the child before it is born in US and Canada (because not all cultures practice female feticide), it is illegal to conduct an abortion based on sex. This is our culture. Kudi maar loko, pehlaa es gall da jawaab dewo duniya nu. Punjabiyat de naam te dhabba kaun? Ek kudi jehdi films dekhan jaande ho, oh hai te tussi ho!
3. Punjab is officially the highest consumer of alcohol in India. Period! Since last 3-4 years, they always have these reports, legal and proven, that Punjab is really the highest consumer of alcohol. Daary baazo, daaru pi ke kudiyaan chhedan vaaleyo, Punjabiyat de naam de dhabba kaun?
4. Now Punjab also leads in drug abuse. And it has been written over and over again by trusted newspapers not hailing from India, that women of Punjab now deal in drugs. These women might be the mothers of few boys who have only trash to talk about actresses or even the girls residing in their neighborhood. Are those women, of course faceless and nameless as they would never want themselves to be identified, a matter of pride for Punjabis or Punjabiyat? Ask those women to identify themselves first. Punjabiyat de naam te dhabba oh ne and also all the drug addicts who steal, kill, rob innocent people for money to fulfill their drug habits.
5. Wearing modern dresses including skirts which our actresses wear is a matter of shame for our men. Aha! Go to your villages and see girls clad in salwar kameez indulging in most sinful practices. On the same youtube these same men have uploaded audios of people of villages talking crap. This is Punjabiyat. Ohna lokaan nu pucho, jo us audios de vich bol rahe ne te jehna ne upload keeti hai, Punjabiyat de naam te dhabba kaun?
6. Not long ago a father was killed by a goon when he wanted to save her daughter from harrassment in Amritsar? Punjabiyat de naam te dhabba kaun?
I can go on and on as no society is perfect.
But on one hand dreaming about Punjabi cinema to become equivalent to Bollywood or if some wild dreamers are to be read and believed, even Hollywood, and on the other hand preaching how women should live, is a laughable paradox.
For the record, Sharmila Tagore was from the extended family of Nobel laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore and wife of Mansoor Ali Khaan Pataudi. She was one of the first actresses to don a swim suit and one of the rarest breeds to act in films as a leading heroine long after her three children were born. The song, ‘Roop Tera Mastana’ from ‘Aradhna’ was shot when she had given birth to Saif Ali Khan. This liberty which Bengali women have has perhaps made them dominating actresses in every era till Kajol (half-Bengali) and Rani Mukerji from the times cinema was born in India.
In Punjab, there is no literary figure like Rabindra Nath Tagore and no filthy rich Nawaab scion and a cricket icon like Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. No woman in Punjab has been bred in such a family or has been married to the perfect faithful Muslim gentleman which Pataudi was – don’t miss the deliberate reference to the religion he hailed from.
Aakad kaahdi hai ethe? Moral policing kahdi hai ethe?
Does cinema not need actresses who can play wives, mistresses and prostitutes easily like she did in Aradhna, Mausam, Sunny, Daag, Amar Prem? These all are called classics, no?
As long as we are not liberal in our outlook for women as actresses, our cinema can not grow as growth of cinema in any country is directly proportional to involvement of women and the way they are treated by the men. So as long as one section of male society who thinks they have right to moral police the women sits silent and let women evolve in literature and arts, Punjabi cinema can never grow.
Having said that, there is a very THICK line between gross porn and vulgarity and elegance and liberty. Liberal woman playing a mistreated and neglected mistress of a man (a very common situation in real world) or a prostitute who wants to change her life is a story; soft porn is something which Bollywood has started doing today. (1578)