The Murder of a UP Girl is Just One More Reason Why Our Films Need to Stop Glorifying Stalking

Social Commentary

The Murder of a UP Girl is Just One More Reason Why Our Films Need to Stop Glorifying Stalking

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

It’s no secret that violence against women is one of the country’s most pressing issues.

Another tragic reminder of this fact was reported in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, last week, after a 19-year-old Dalit girl and her father were killed just two days before her wedding ceremony was supposed to be held.

The man accused of the murders, Saagar Thakur, wanted to marry the girl, her elder brother said. “On June 27 night, Saagar, his five friends reached our house on motorbikes and started pressuring us for marriage. Later, they opened fire,” he told Times of India.

The girl and her father were struck during this indiscriminate firing, the police say, while the rest of her family managed to escape without injury.

The incident came to light after a horrific video doing the rounds of the internet apparently captured the moments before the firing started. Thakur and his five accomplices, who have been booked for murder and under the SC/ST act, are absconding, the police said.

The shooting sent chills down the spines of social media users, who reacted with shock and outrage at this latest act of senseless violence.

The horrific murders have also renewed conversation on the menace that stalking poses to women in this country. In the past, several voices have called out the film industry for normalising this behaviour.

Films such as Badrinath ki Dulhaniya and Salman Khan’s Tere Naam have been accused of glorifying stalking, long before the events in Meerut last week.

Back in 2016, an Australian resident was even acquitted of charges, after his lawyer successfully argued that Bollywood movies had taught him that stalking was the only way to win a woman’s heart.

With police now on the lookout for the accused in the double murders, hopefully arrests are made as soon as possible. But with incidents like this being reported almost every week from all parts of the country, it’s clear that India is no country for women.