New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Be it Varun Dhawan's attempts to woo Alia Bhatt in "Badrinath Ki Dulhania", or Akshay Kumar following Bhumi Pednekar and clicking her photographs without her consent in "Toilet: Ek Prem Katha" or Shah Rukh Khan singing the famous "Tu haan kar ya na kar, tu hai meri Kiran" -- Bollywood tells stories about love but also highlights stalking.
Social activist Ranjana Kumari blames cinema for creating a culture of stalking women.
"They show that initially women say 'No' but don't take 'No' for a 'No'. It is actually a 'Yes'. It has been there since long. Stalking has been packaged in a romantic way," Kumari told IANS.
"It conveys the superiority that men have over women. She, in any case, has to give in. It is a myth that is being perpetuated by creating this culture... She is still an object of his desire," she added.
Actress Swara Bhasker, who appeared in "Raanjhanaa", admitted that the Aanand L. Rai directorial glorified stalking.
"When it came out, it got panned by feminists for glorifying stalking... For a long time, I refused to believe it and thought that it is not true... But then as time passed by, I was like, actually, maybe yes," she said when she joined actress Kareena Kapoor Khan for an episode of her radio show.
According to psychologist Samir Parikh, films have an impact on people at some level or the other.
"When you see something being presented in a palatable manner to you, you feel it is okay to do it, so you get desensitised to it. You get disinhibited and it changes your perception of reality. People, especially youngsters and vulnerable ones, end up doing what they see their role models doing," Parikh told IANS.
"It is important to educate and upgrade people and give them the right support and guidance," he said.
All is not fair in love, and it is time to put the lens on it as well.
(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)