A sexist comment made by a senior actor of the Telugu film industry has kicked up a storm and has once again highlighted the deep-rooted misogyny prevalent in society today.
At a recent audio launch of Ra Randoi Veduka Chudham, starring Rakul Preet Singh and Naga Chanitanya, veteran actor Chalapathi Rao was asked if he felt women are injurious to mental health.
The anchor was referring to the tag line of the upcoming movie which reads "Ammayilu manashantike hanikaram" which translates to "Women are injurious to mental peace".
Chalapathi casually remarked, "Women are not injurious to mental peace. They are fit for sleeping with men".
Actor Nagarjuna, who has produced the movie, and Rakul took to social media on Tuesday to criticise Chalapathi's comment.
I always respect women personally and in my films/I definitely do not agree wt Chalapati rao's derogatory comments/dinosaurs do not exist!!— Nagarjuna Akkineni (@iamnagarjuna) May 23, 2017
Speaking to The News Minute, Rakul said that until today morning, she was unaware of the exact meaning of the remark.
"I just got to know the meaning this morning. Even though I understand Telugu very fluently, I call myself a Telugu girl, but the term that he used was not a regular one used in Hyderabadi conversation. But I condemned it as soon as I got to know it," she said.
She said that someone senior like Rao should behave responsibly on a public platform. "What they do personally is not something we are bothered about, but in a public event, where there are also a lot of children present, people need to know where to draw a line."
In her statement, Rakul mentioned how industry novices usually prefer to remain silent in matters involving senior members out of respect. But this incident, she said, definitely doesn't require any silence.
"If there is something wrong people should voice it. Why be scared of it? If something is happening wrong right in front of your eyes, do voice it," she said.
Speaking of sexism and misogyny in the Telugu film industry, the actor said that it would be wrong to judge the entire industry based on a statement made by one person.
"I have never been mistreated or ill-treated by anybody even when I was an absolute newcomer here. The problem is not with a specific industry, but that a certain section of our society has a very sick thinking. And it is this mentality that needs to be addressed," she said.
Finally coming to the contentious tagline of the movie, Rakul said that it was all meant to be taken in light humour.
"It was all light humour until this comment came and spoiled it," she said.