“Who's been painting my roses red? WHO'S BEEN PAINTING MY ROSES RED? Who dares to taint with vulgar paint the royal flower bed? For painting my roses red someone will lose his head.” Queen of Hearts, Alice I n Wonderland.
Expressions of opinion can invite fatwa, venomous retorts and one just need not have to paint the roses red. An opinion that the roses would enthrall if it were done red may suffice to send the head rolling.
I stumbled on a pretty trivial post on the Face Book shared by an fb friend. It was a statement by a nondescript but apparently haughty director in the Mallu tinsel world. The gentleman had proclaimed aloud that the Malayalam film industry must jettison the fascination to rope in actors from other states. He was specifically rubbishing an actor from Telugu, “Padma Priya”. Incidentally this young actor has to her credit a few films in Malayalm that manifested her talent and grace. I joined the comment bandwagon quite ordinarily and opined that “perhaps talent was a threat” and the actor was competent as she has showed in her films. There were indeed many comments for and against talent from outside the State.
Later in the day, I saw on the message box in the FB a curt message from the director who proclaimed his ridicule for the actor in question. He wrote in Malayalam that I must have shown the civility and culture attributed to an alumni of the Mar Ivanios college Thpuram. And that he too was the product of the college and why was I outraged when an mere actress was rubbished. I was absolutely at loss to understand the tirade of this guy who was a total stranger to me. I wrote back a sentence saying that “to me talent has to be respected irrespective of its origin and culture is to speak out and stand for what one feels is right and fearlessly too”. He did not cease with that but send another message. From there I ignored the nonsense than join issue.
The crux of the matter that is relevant here, though my comment was just like a lay person who expresses his opinion is, I sense that the gentleman was not just targeting women from outside State. Though it cannot be denied that his anguish was the outcome of a prejudiced, discriminatory and parochial mindset . I also heard from my friends in the film world that this actor was of a different genre and has the gumption to stand up and fight out in a male dominated world where casting couches are still not antediluvian and not phased out. So that presumably may have made her persona non grata to some. Who said that a few seats in parliament when reserved for women would emancipate the sex?
I still cannot understand the diatribe and spat of venom I got for a harmless opinion on a subject of limited importance on a supposedly benign social network.