by Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network
Bangalore, Sep 15 : The real life story of reel life hero, Kannada actor Darshan’s ‘Dashavathara’ or rather the ugly side of his being a wife beater has been like a shocker to the public who worship and hold cinema stars in high esteem. Going by the events it can be deduced firmly that the Kannada film industry was in know of the darker side of the personal life of this young actor who threw away all norms of decency by stooping too low in beating his own wife mercilessly and even injuring their toddler son.
What is even more shocking is the bigoted decision of Karnataka Film Producers Association in banning film heroine Nikhita Thukral citing her to be the cause of rift in the marriage of Darshan while leaving Darshan scot free. In an even more bizarre reaction from women fans despite Darshan committing some of the harshest crimes against his wife including battering her, burning her with cigarette stubs, tearing her dress, biting her ear and threatening her and even their sun at gun point as is pointed out clearly in the FIR, have come forward from nowhere to vouch for his virtuousness.
He has made a mockery of the law and after committing such odious crimes is lying in the hospital like a coward feigning illness. Such blatant and blind hero worship and prevailing sexist bias in the Kannada film industry is disdainful and is an affront.
One is mortified to say this is happening in the land where it is against our culture to thrash women and where women are held in high esteem. It can be termed as the travesty of our present system where people blindly support and defend their film stars irrespective of the felony committed by them. What we can do except pity these educated fools who could be seen shedding tears demanding the release of Darshan overlooking his crime when the law should be allowed to take its own course! These female supporters have even gone to the extent of blaming Darshan’s wife Vijayalaxmi for the present shameful incident saying it is a trivial incident which should have been solved within the four walls of the house. And lo! What are the achievements to the credit of this hero except that he has acted in a couple of movies and is blessed with good looks?
Looking at the now familiar ‘kahani mein twist’ with the film producers association imposing ban on Nikitha and how Darshan and his friends in the Kannada film industry acted in unison to get him away from the prison by resorting to all sorts of ‘acting’ and also by using their clout, will surely make us bow our heads in ignominy. Reports suggest that even jail authorities bent backwards following star tantrums and he was allowed to treat outside the prison hospital when he should have been treated in the prison hospital like other inmates. Royal treatment for a reel hero turned real life villain?
It is some consolation that the judiciary has maintained its impartiality with the first additional chief metropolitan magistrate refusing his bail application. It may be noted here that the court rejected his bail plea for his history of physical abuse of his wife which he is said to have been carrying on with wanton disregard for the past 3 to 4 years. While extramarital affairs in the film industry and even in the lives of common people are widespread Darshan is said to be a known womanizer who carried on with his affairs with many women simultaneously. If it was just extramarital alone affairs there would have been such a hullaballoo and of course the question of lodging a complaint for physical abuse would not have arisen. But Darshan who is a reel hero has proved to be a villain in real life showering physical abuse on his hapless wife, something even illiterate and common people would hasten to do.
Buckling under Pressure?
His wife Vijayalaxmi has now withdrawn the FIR filed against Darshan following the intermediacy of well known names (males) in the Kannada film industry including Duniya Vijay, Prem and others. The gender bias of the Kannada film industry showed its true colour when the industry took the unwarranted and retrograde step of banning Nikita. Most of these men visited Darshan but none of them had the courtesy initially to visit Vijayalaxmi who was undergoing treatment following the physical abuse she suffered. Finally they felt it necessary to go to her to convince her on the sagacity of withdrawing the case against him, which she finally did succumbing to the pressure tactics of the industriwallas. So the charges of physical abuse have been converted into a convenient but ridiculous ‘injury by fall in the bathroom’ and interestingly it will get accepted in our society.
It is unfortunate and is a matter of disgrace that a fitting case of domestic violence has taken esoteric twists and turns and has even taken a bad turn of caste politics. There have been efforts to project Darshan as a hero belonging to the powerful Vokkaliga community – courtesy Rebal Star Ambareesh. The film industry is always notorious for being a man’s world and by banning Nikita the industry has exposed its clear gender bias once again. While Nikita (who is single) is banned there is no action against Darshan, a married man who should have commitment towards his family. He cheated on his wife and battered her physically and is getting away with all this without paying for his waywardly actions. Can we call it true justice? Nikita has every grouse when she says that the man (Darshan) who is facing charges of attempt to murder is treated like a VIP and she is being made a scapegoat.
Silence of the lambs
Another amazing factor arising out of this sad fiasco is that female artistes of the film industry including pantheons like Jayanthi, Jayamala, Bharathi etc., have maintained a stoic silence and have refused to condemn Darshan or his abusive acts. Except for Ramya, who pointed out that our Indian culture does not support assaulting women no other heroine or even seniors actresses have come out in the open or even failed to express their solidarity with Vijayalaxmi. Whatever may be compulsions of these female artistes, it is a trifle sad and disgusting to note that when it comes to their own problems these women have none to look forward to for any help. It may be their dependence on the Kannada film industry for survival which makes them go tightlipped over the incident or it is just that they are mere lambs in the industry known for its male domination. It is pretty sad for the simple reason that it will give a free hand for male chauvinists to carry on with their shenanigans and disgusting and shameless people like Darshan will make full use of it to their advantage.
In the entire milieu the film industry seems to have forgotten the real issue –i.e the domestic violence Darshan perpetrated against his wife. It has also come to light that Darshan has not spared even his mother-in-law from physical assault, which gives us a clear picture of the degree of his brutality, thus clearly exhibiting his criminal and brutal side. By his acts of violence and by breaking the arm of law Darshan has brought disrepute and has done colossal harm to the Kannada film industry. It is hard to believe that behind his fey manner he has such a violent side unknown to the public. Will the Kannada film industry muster enough courage to ban Darshan rather than footle and draw comforts by sacrificing Nikita Tukral?