Ram Gopal Varma is known for his controversial statements. In fact, if one had to take a look at his tweets, it exudes the aura of a man who is not just strongly opinionated but also judgemental. Be it about other actors, directors, movies, political issues or his own movies, they are all, in essence, a man’s look at the world through tinted glasses. His habit of making controversial statements is now considered a part of his personality. His tweets are accepted the same way Karan Johar’s love for the word conjecture is. Most recently, though, his tweet ‘wishing’ women on International Women’s Day made headlines. Now, there is a FIR filed against him for his offensive tweet. What did he say? Why has a 140-character wish caught the attention of women all over the country?
The filmmaker, who is looking forward to the release of Sarkar 3 starring Amitabh Bachchan, wrote, “I wish all the women in the world give men as much happiness as Sunny Leone gives” To make such a comment is not just disrespectful towards women, including Sunny Leone. Are women just an object created to make men happy? Why do we even have to make men happy? Are they incapable of living their life in comfort? Why did he think he could get away with such a sexist statement? Is it because he has gotten away with every silly comment he has made so far? Is it because he has found the perfect formula to stay relevant to people today, who would otherwise ignore him?
I wish all the women in the world give men as much happiness as Sunny Leone gives
— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) March 8, 2017
To make things worse, while reports might suggest that he received flak for this statement, the replies were no better. Most of the people who took offence at the statement put themselves on a pedestal in comparison to Sunny. Apparently, ‘they’ are not such a person. Comments ranged from attacking RGV for his cheap train of thoughts and casting stones at every woman in the director’s life, including his mother.
What kind of a person does that make you? A woman who has set a successful production company and is considered a fairly talented individual is still at the receiving end of society’s judgements. What can be more ironic? Well, all of this surfacing on International Women’s Day is like the icing on the cake. Maybe the fault does lie with women, at least in this case. Maybe if Sunny had replied with anything but an emoticon, we would have felt better. We might have brought out our ‘pom poms’ to cheer the lady’s guts for standing up for herself. She might have become the figure of ‘Feminism’ and might have made a few headlines of her own.
@RGVzoomin 😜🙏🙏🙏 ;) ha
— Sunny Leone (@SunnyLeone) March 8, 2017
But the Laila O Laila fame’s tweet seems to make it clear that she is not here to make grandstands about her past or the present. Pratiksha Kargaonkar (/ Vishaka Mhambre ), a social activist belonging to Hindu Janajagruti, on the other hand, filed a complaint against the filmmaker in Goa. A BJP MLA Ram Kadam, who also happens to the president of Film Studio Setting & Allied Majdoor Union has announced that the union will be boycotting director RGV and will also be stopped from shooting his films in Mumbai.
Ram Gopal Varma was, of course, not mum. He is not the kind to sit quietly and watch while others hijack his online stunts. He said, “The negative noise towards my tweet on @SunnyLeone arises from ultimate hypocrisy. She has more honesty and more self-respect than any woman.” Not sure how the fact that Sunny is an honest a hardworking woman makes men around the world happy. But, we have to give it to the filmmaker for pulling this rabbit out of his sleeve.
Then came a couple of tweets that had phrases like ‘decomposed cogitation’, ‘mentally corroded naysayers’ and ‘sanctimoniousness of extremely antithetical multifarious perspectives’. Apparently, the filmmaker is going to be making a short film on the phenomenon of Sunny Leone. You might wonder why he needed to use such convoluted words instead of simply stating it as hypocrisy. It is that same trait of his again — looking down at people. But honestly, don’t you think this would have made a better Women’s Day wish? A short film on country’s most Googled star Sunny Leone and how she is treated by people.
Was just expressing my feelings but I apologise to all who were offended due to my unintended insensitive tweets in context of women’s day
— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) March 9, 2017
My apology is only to those who genuinely got offended and not to those who ranted for publicity nd threatened to take law into their hands
— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) March 9, 2017
The last update is RGV’s public apology. He has apologised to women everywhere for hurting their sentiments. He wrote, “Was just expressing my feelings but I apologise to all who were offended due to my unintended insensitive tweets in context of women’s day,” and added, “My apology is only to those who genuinely got offended and not to those who ranted for publicity nd threatened to take law into their hands.”
To have opinions, and to express them does come under the Freedom of Speech Act in our country. However, is it okay to trivialise what women go through every day? There are still women who are being harassed on the streets because they are thought of as objects solely made for the purpose of ‘making men happy’. Women are being harassed because men think stalking is romantic. Where did they get this idea? From films helmed by directors like Ram Gopal Varma. There are men who think it is okay to not give women a choice because they expect to get away with everything, just like how Ram Gopal Varma has gotten away with this comments and statements and with his public apology.