On the latest elimination episode of Bigg Boss Tamil 2, host Kamal Haasan seems to have redeemed himself for the misogynistic comments said a few episodes earlier. Could this be because of the backlash after that episode? Or is it because Vishwaroopam 2 is going to hit the screens soon? Either way, we are happy that he has said something positive, although he could have driven the point home with more veracity. Here’s what went down.
“Kalacharam has always been confusing to me, as Ponnambalam often speaks about,”
A 180 degree turn from his line a few weeks ago, saying that he will defend Ponnambalam at all costs. Kamal airs his puzzlement before he says that Tamil culture is not a right, and is merely an address. Cue applause. He then asks Ponnambalam what he really meant when he was admonishing the girls. Ponnambalam launches into a tiresome tirade where he says that he wants them to not just step into Tamil Nadu, but to make the people of Tamil Nadu happy. “Whatever you do, you must understand what the norm is and act accordingly. When you go to a party in a club, you can dress as needed. And when you go for a Ponggal celebration, you can dress as required there,” the contestant says.
People like Ponnambalam (and this is not limited to just one gender) need to get over themselves, and more importantly, get over their AGE. Yes you may be incredibly experienced because you’ve walked this earth longer, but you have no clue what it is like to be a Yashika or Aishwarya or any other young woman or person in 2018. Understand that every person has a different experience of life. Unless your advice is sought after, there is absolutely no need for you to impart this precious information to random people.
Next time you feel like giving some unsolicited advice, ZIP IT.
“I saw my grandmother, and then I saw Indira Gandhi, both widows led very different lives”
Kamal reinforces that women (or anyone, for that matter) are capable of doing something beyond social norms if they set their minds to it. Probably the only time that night, the audience cheers at the right time.
“Women may need to be respectful, but we need to be respectful towards women,”
Kamal Haasan says this before playing a video clip of Ponnambalam sitting on Yashika during a task to prevent her from moving, and him roughly pushing away Rithvika during another task. “If you complain that her leg touches yours, and that is disrespectful. What about you sitting on and pushing away women like that? That is equally disrespectful,”
Ponnamabalam continues grinning like a Cheshire cat throughout this, and does not show an iota of remorse or sadness.
“It is hypocrisy. You have two faces, one in jeans and one in veshti,”
Indeed it is. If you claim to be very respectful of women, but then hurl abuses to them when your emotions get the better of you, are you really respectful in the first place? The fact that people feel the need to tell women what to do and what to wear is a right that there really is no respect for women in the first place. If there was respect, you would let the person be, and not feel the need to tell them what to do.
“Don’t tell women that you cannot be this way, and you need to be that way. Ask my daughters,”
In fact, let’s not tell anyone this, regardless of gender. Sure, tell your kids. But do you think telling adults this will work in any way? It may make YOU feel better. It may make you feel like you have made a monumental change in their minds. But no, you’re just wasting your energy and time by doing so. Please stop telling people how to live.
“Change your heart/perception, if your heart/perception is bad, you’ll always see bad.”
Yashika asks for the public not to judge women by their dressing. A crop top may reveal a woman’s midriff, but then again, so does a saree. “Athu avanga paarvaiyile irruku,” This could not be more apt. If you look at women as creatures to fulfill your sexual desires, you will always see that in every woman that walks by, no matter how they are dressed. This is particularly prevalent in Tamil Nadu. Women who are covered up, dupatta and all, are still ogled at by men. Start looking at people as people, not male, female, Indian, Malay, Chinese and so on.
Kamal Haasan echoes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
“What does a woman have to do? Pottu or not?”
Kamal Haasan shares an anecdote, how a woman wearing a large pottu is berated, and a woman who chooses not to wear a pottu is also rebuked. This dilemma extends to beyond a pottu and beyond the female gender. Whatever one does, there is bound to be a party that is unhappy with it. So what can we do about it? Just live your life, and do you.
While the studio audience may not be very receptive to what Kamal Haasan said, we hope that this will change the mindset of people who cannot seem to see men and women as equal. At the end of the day, if a person sees himself in everyone around him, it would make the world a much happier place to live in.