Child abuse and Tamil cinema


By Jyothsna

According to a study conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child development on child abuse in India, 53% of children reported being sexually abused. More so, by people who are known to them. And, it is not that these plagues are recent weeds but the reporting of such shameful acts has increased now, thanks to media.

Cinema indisputably is a powerful medium to convey any information. Therefore when we look at Tamil cinema, there are quite a few that comes to the mind which have taken up this issue at different levels and had delivered the goods with a lot of sincerity.

The recently released Vidiyum Munn is one such example whose central arc was an aged pedophile with a perverse fetish. Director Balaji Kumar had handled the subject with quite a lot of maturity and understanding. Audiences got to witness a different dimension to the problem and the way scenes unfolded, they hit the bull’s eye incisively. We realize that there are also such people in society with whom we are forced to co-habit.

Director Selvaraghavan can easily be credited to have first brought out this issue (on screen) and its effect on a boy in his formative years. In Kaadhal Kondein, Vinod, played by Dhanush was at the receiving end of a very detestable child molestation which becomes the reason for his reclusive weird character later in life. In fact, the film kind of sent shock waves across the audience and Selva was talked about for his boldness to demonstrate such a sensitive issue.

Arun Vaidhyanathan’s Achchamundu Achchamundu was more of a panoramic and subtle view of this frightful act narrated with suspense without explicitly spelling out the details but all the same getting across things in an honest manner. Here again the perpetrator of the crime was an aged pedophile.

Nadunisi Naaygal was iconoclastic which showcased an incest relationship but again that was the effect and the cause was molestation of the boy at his younger days leading to a frightful aberration.

Although such subjects, undoubtedly, are difficult to stomach, it is also unwise and hypocritical to turn a blind eye to these cankers because these are prevalent around us and it is time that we acknowledge their presence and take preventive measures to insulate our children.

Cinema is something more than just an excuse for consuming popcorn and coke and it is also through this medium that educating and sensitizing masses become easier. Of course, the issue being what it is, it is also a double edged sword that needs to be handled quite carefully. It is after all an indigestible subject and to convey that on the big screen needs a lot of perceptive thought process.

Let us hope that we do have products from the film industry that would have a far reaching positive effect on the society!



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