Ranjini Haridas (33) is an interesting person but more interesting to observe is the reaction she garners from almost everyone with any strain of Malayalee DNA. Everyone likes to have a go at her. Either it is her accent or her dress sense or who she hangs out with – everyone – has an opinion on her.
If you Google her, you will come across hundreds of links to videos and images that has nothing to do with her. There are several videos and pictures very painfully morphed and photographed to resemble her engaged in sexual poses and acts. Some people must be really that into her.
Speaking to local FM Radio station, she explained her family’s and her response to such images and clips.
But why is this? Why is it that we publicly detest her but in private can’t get enough of her? This is similar to the “Malayali House” syndrome, everyone says it’s a silly show and would never watch it but if you look at the Youtube views, it has more viewership than anything else on TV currently.
Ranjiji Haridas’ biggest haters seem to be men. There seems to be a sexist streak in most attacks against her. She is well educated, opinionated, bold and career oriented. This makes some men uncomfortable. Remember the movies of the mid 90s, like The King? There is a bold young woman character who is modern and the hero needs to slap her a few times into submission. Yes, we have made movies like that.
Actor Jagathy had a go at her during the finale of Star Singer, a show she hosts, modelled on American Idol.
Writing about the topic in The Hoot, S Balakrishnan wonders why television audiences are so quick to condemn a woman they deem to be liberal – Sexist rage against reality show anchor.
Her response to the incident appeared in the Deccan Chronicle (the link no longer seems to be online but it was published on August 20th, 2011). Here is her column titled, Exercising our rights reproduced:
Sixty four glorious years of Independence. I must admit that freedom most definitely is a wonderful feeling.
All of us are blessed to be born in a free country and to enjoy the rights that we do.
Years ago numerous men and women gave up their lives to free our nation from the British rule and to this day we are reaping the benefits of their struggle and martyrdom. However, it is a fact that today we take our freedom and rights for granted. The Indian Constitution has empowered all Indians, but at the same time, some end up abusing the power too.
Just the other day I was the victim of an individual who took advantage of his right to freedom of speech to publicly embarrass and ridicule me. Moreover, all this happened on national television! The man in question, who from now I shall refer to as Mr Moon, clearly overstepped the limits of what to say when and where, and to my agravation, had no regard or respect for the event at hand or the people concerned.
It was further uncomfortable as I had to stand right next to Mr Moon hearing him diss me in front of an audience. I had to somehow smile through the excruciating process and then continue on as if nothing happened.
Let us not forget to give due respects to the man who chose to exercise this vital fundamental right to rip me and my work apart onstage, for being one of the most talented and highly respected actors of our film industry.
I guess I am just lucky that I am not scarred for life because of my thick rhino skin. I can just about imagine a teary eyed me running out of the stage weeping at being insulted by such a stalwart or even worse me getting back at him. An eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth.
But somehow I just couldn’t do that either. I had a job at hand and had to complete it. It wasn’t my day or Mr Moon’s. It was the grand finale of one of the finest musical reality shows for kids and they were the stars. The focus had to be on them, not some slanderous statements made by a man pining for attention.
I enjoy the same freedom and rights every other Indian citizen enjoys and till the day I die, I will exercise them. Nobody has the right to tell me otherwise, and even if they do, like in this particular instance, I am sorry to say that the only thing achieved was some cheap publicity and the loss of respect for a so called brilliant actor.
Here is an example of the rhino skin required she is referring to:
Recently, there was an incident at the Cochin International Airport. There was an altercation between two passengers, one was arrested and released on bail for abusing a woman. The bailed out man’s wife files a complaint and the police then book a case against the woman. News reports till today states that the police have not got the CCTV from the CISF. One report said that the CCTV footage does not have audio hence we can’t hear the abuses.
Imagine if one of the passengers involved in the incident above is a male movie actor of some repute. Do you think the other would have objected? On the contrary, it is more likely that passengers would be falling over themselves to please the actor.
Now imagine if instead of the male actor, it is Ranjini Haridas. The insecure and intolerant Malayalee male gene comes in to play. Seeing a woman who is bold and assertive about her choices annoys them. She is an easy target.
If you are standing in an airport queue and someone tries to cut in, call the authorities. They should take action. Someday, we should forget about Ranjini Haridas and ask the authorities at Cochin International Airport what they are doing to make immigration and customs lines move faster. That is the real issue, solving that will ensure a better airport experience for us. Facebook-ing how much you dislike Ranjini Haridas is not going to make your life any better.
Everyone loves Ranjini Haridas, only some are brave enough to admit it in public.