An Eye for an Eye, A Tooth for a Tooth….

Cinema plays a very vital role in our society as long as cinema had come to play. We often find ourselves to be into the character of the protagonist and we feel the world in that sense. Indian cinema has always played a huge influence on the minds of the people and so does movies reflect their mentality.

There exists movies which tend to negate and deviate from the societal ideals and follow a different path which reflects our real life and place themselves above the moral compass. But not everything fits in the same category and the majority of the films we watch in our country plays a common beat which everyone does without much haze. These films can portray sexism in positive manner, sanskari dogmatism of promoting the so called Indian values, vengeance, and violence in many forms.

Seldom we have seen action films which portrays revenge in a positive light because that is what the audience wants. A vast majority of the audience find a blend of casual sexism, revenge and poor content to be the best combination that defines what Indian cinema is all about and it goes uncontested by our censor board. So films which has some sort of words or scenes which depicts some real life situation in apt sense or criticises government will always be scrutinized and taken necessary actions on it. Examples of this can be Udta Punjab, Lipstick Under My Burkha and many such low budget films which seek to speaks the truth are censored.

Revenge is seen positively and it continues to dominate many action films. It remains as a norm for decades of cinema in our country regardless of the film industry. It is shown in such a way that you will not find it to be wrong in any sense, instead when the protagonist is seeking it is seen as a positive sign. Taking revenge in my opinion is flawed and I believe that revenge does not compensate for the loss especially when your loss is unfathomable. If someone kills your family member and you avenge their killings by doing the same then it doesn’t makes the other person realise their fault and make him feel guilty. What our films show is that revenge is the best thing to do when you lose your dear ones or anyone in your family. Revenge is only an impulsive behaviour and those who seek revenge will only find themselves to be in a situation where they can’t fill the loss. One such example I can tell is from the film Ghajini where the protagonist conspired for that moment in his life where he can avenge his fiance’s death. Adding to that Sanjay Singhania, the protagonist leaves his lavish lifestyle behind to live in a small apartment living in the past, conspiring and preparing for that day to avenge Ghajini. At last when he kills his sole enemy, he feels relieved and in the movie he is shown renewed, but still finds that loss of his fiance can never be fulfilled. God knows what happens. Ghajini is one such example of revenge being portrayed, but it also shows us the reality in that end, that you can’t do anything to ease that grave emotional loss.

Another movie which I can quote here is the film Haider, whose lead role was played by Shahid Kapoor. Cutting to the chase, the film talks about how lust and revenge finally leads to the doom of families. Haider seeks revenge for his father’s brutal murder by fake terrorists sent by Haider’s uncle Khurram. Learning about his father’s message from this unknown informant, Haider seeks to avenge his father on the grounds that Khurram murdered his father by conspiring against him and getting in relationship with his mother for the Family’s wealth. Haider suffers from trauma and behaves erratically. In the end when he confronts his mother during the climax, Haider is dissuaded by his mother not to seek revenge and to surrender. She tells him that it creates a vicious cycle of revenge and leaves no one better. Haider sticks to his father’s words and doesn’t back off. To end this she blows herself off by pulling the trigger of a hand grenade while both Haider and Khurram attempt to save her. In the end Haider weeps over his mother’s remains and takes a gun points over his uncle who loses his both his legs waiting for Haider to pull the trigger. As he is about to pull the trigger, his mother’s words remind him and in an instant he decides not to kill him but to leave him unharmed. Haider ignores Khurram and then let’s him live to end the cycle of violence and Khurram left helpless only to be left desolate realising his actions and feeling a guilty for everything. He just wanted Haider to kill him so that he is not burdened by the guilt when alive.

Revenge will only lead to further tensions and violent outbreaks. It leaves no one in benefit. When someone close to us is killed or have been left harmed by perpetrators, seeking revenge will do no good especially when you have a lot to lose. People lose families, nations are destroyed as a result of vengeance. If we contemplate, it would be better for the guilty to realise and carry the albatross around the neck rather than killing him. Killing will only solve a problem which is sensational but it will never do anything to undo what has already been done. It doesn’t change anything or bring joy to your life instead it leads to a cycle of misery and terror. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

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