These was some disturbing news that we came across in the last couple of days. Six persons were grievously injured when the cutout of actor Ajith Kumar collapsed in Thirukovilur while they were performing milk abhishekam to it as part of Viswasam release. In another incident, Pandian, a beedi worker, was set on fire allegedly by his son as he didn’t give him money for a special show of Viswasam. Meanwhile, two men in Katpadi were stabbed as they got into a tussle with a local gang over occupying seats during the first show of Viswasam. A youngster immolated himself outside Sandalwood actor Yash’s residence in Bengaluru after he was reportedly unable to meet the star on his birthday.
The most relevant question for the day is are we taking cinema too seriously? Why should there be gang war over a movie? Why should lives be lost? Psychologists say hero worship needs to be blamed for the troubles. Today’s youngsters fail to differentiate between real and reel. Unfortunately, the advent of social media has been adding fuel to the fire. Even during MGR and Sivaji days, there was fandom and celebrations across cinema halls where their movies got released. But it has taken a violent turn today. We have heard instances of many fans threatening to kill themselves if their favourite hero did not meet them or allowed them selfies in a crowd. A few have sent them letters written in blood too. These are all disgusting.
Education and a good family environment alone can bring about a change. Parents should keep a tab on what their wards are doing. Unfortunately, in many houses, parents ask their children to act and sing like a hero / heroine in family gatherings and take pride in their acts. Sadly, with nuclear families coming up, the absence of grandparents and elders around the children to narrate them stories from our mythology and culture is sorely missed. Cinema is just a medium of entertainment. Unless youngsters understand it, such horrible things will never cease to unfold.