By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: With the death of the gang-rape victim casting an all-pervasive pall of gloom over the film industry, many stars and filmmakers called off their new year plans even as singer Alisha Chinai called Sharia laws to deal with rapists.
Said a source close to the Bachchan family, “There’s absolutely no appetite for celebration in the Bachchan parivar. Both Amitji and Jayaji are extremely upset by what has happened in Delhi. All plans in the Bachchan family for the New Year have been cancelled.”
Other top-notch celebrities, like the Kapoors–Rishi, Neetu and Ranbir –and the Roshans, also called of their plans in the light of the tragedy. Hema Malini had planned an elaborate New Year get-together for her daughter Esha and son-in-law (their first New Year after the wedding). But it was cancelled.
In fact, one of the above showbiz icons told not to broadcast the no-celebrarion plans. “Isn’t it rather obvious that we have nothing to celebrate this New Year’s? How can we even think of partying at a time when the nation weeps? We in the entertainment business are human beings too,” said the icon.
Shabana Azmi, who planned a New Year’s eve party at her farm-house in Lonavala with her husband Javed Akhtar, said she is in no mood for any celebration. “We are doing NOTHING to celebrate the New Year out of respect for the brave heart who lost her life on Saturday after putting up a valiant fight that brought the people of our country together as one one nation demanding safety for India’s daughters.”
Shabana’s colleague Naseeruddin Shah blamed our films for desensitizing the country against rape.
Naseeruddin said, “I’m afraid our population has become desensitized to rape because of cinema. In our movies, it is an act that is either foiled or avenged by the hero. So I don’t think people have a realistic view of this ghastly crime. For the first time, the gruesome details of what transpired during the actual act of rape came out in the public domain. I think that caused the public outrage. And that’s good. I just hope this outrage is sustained and doesn’t become one more token protest.”
Post the tragic death of the gang-rape victim in Delhi, singer Alisha Chinai has demanded Sharia laws to deal with sexual offenders in India. Angered, embittered and frightened for the future of femininity, Alisha says, “India should show no mercy for sexual offenders. The monsters who did this to Damini must be dealt with in a way most appropriate for them. We must have Sharia laws in this country. An eye for an eye, a life for a life.”
Pooja Bhatt pretty much expresses the somber mood of the moment when she says, “I will spend the New Year thanking the lord for the privilege of being safe and alive. I will be going for long walks in the woods and abstaining from celebrations for sure.”
Alisha feels women in India are vulnerable to hellish fears. “Why do we have to live in fear of our gender, our womanhood and of our sexuality being under a constant threat? The entire nation is in a pathetic sick condition. India has lost its soul. Hell is a better place to be.”
So sickened is Alisha by the brutal violence that the rape victim underwent that she feels death has been a kind of release for her. “Don’t cry for her, India. She now rests in peace.”