Paedophiles, Trivandrum Lodge, and Children

Child Artists in Malayalam Cinema

Since my childhood, I have heard my mother scream at me for wearing ‘inappropriate clothes’ when we are visited by our relatives. Children as young as five or six year olds are preys of moral policing by their parents. Our mothers tend to make us wear ‘decent’ clothes which covers all parts of our body, at an age when we are not even three feet high. What do our mothers fear? Our uncles, our cousin brothers, may be my own father, or any other male member of the family? Coming to think of it, why should I be asked to wear certain kind of clothes? People who are aroused by seeing a four year old’s hind legs and chest, should never be inside your house, at all. This moral issue grows out of the four walls of my house into the theatre screens.

We have come across certain ‘uncles’ at the cinema, who is desperate to feel our body, that they are happy with rubbing their arms, on ours, when we put it on the armrest. It is to these anti social morons, that we present films like Trivandrum Lodge. The problem with this movie was in its portrayal of a ten year old’s romance with one of his peers. Normally, we might have noticed how cute their romance was, but we have not thought about the visuals through which it was portrayed. Firstly, the lodge is the most dangerous place a ten year old girl can go to, with residents like Abdu, who has shades of a sex maniac in his character, and the guy who reads porn magazines. The whole frame does not need a ten year old there.

Paedophiles among us

The movie, Trivandrum Lodge, itself is nothing short of an adult film, with dirty jokes and sex talks. Amidst this, a ten year old enters in her shorts or her frock, and acts shy on seeing her lover boy. The problem is not with her dress, or the boy. The problem is in the mind-set of the viewer, who is already aroused by the double – meaning jokes and the scenes before.

In the very first film of the film series Anchu Sundarikal, the shot where a girl child is asked to remove her clothes by the photographer ‘uncle’, may have disturbed many of us. While, the rest of such ‘uncles’ may have enjoyed seeing a part of her chest (which is yet to form). The problem with such scenes is that, these anti social criminals will have sexual fantasies, rewinding this visual in their head.

They will make this ten year old, their sex-goddess and treat her like a sex toy. This imagination will gradually turn into action, when they will start having the desire for a real sex toy, a small ten year old, easy to handle in whichever way they want. This is mostly how a paedophile is born. My observation is that paedophiles are very similar to psycho serial killers. Serial killers harm and kill people for the sake of a violent pleasure. Paedophiles are also violating a child, for satisfying their wild, violent desire. How else can we define someone who can have sexual feelings looking at the face of a five year old?

Child actors

Child actors in Malayalam cinema also faces such an issue. They are in the show-business, and their industry requires them to be in the limelight. Are children as young as five or six able to handle the celebrity light they are getting, is a question which needs to be answered. We have come across numerous instances where a celebrity actress’ face is morphed into a porn video or mms, and is published in social media platforms. What if such crimes are done using the child artist’s face? Both are serious issues, but seeing such a porn video, with a ten year old’s face morphed into it, is not acceptable at all. We need to start thinking of safeguarding our child prodigies, along with creating associations and councils for protection of women in cinema.

The issue, as mentioned earlier, starts at home. When my mother scolds my ten year old daughter, for wearing a shorts and a crop top, I must stand up for her. It is her choice what to wear. Her home is where she can be most comfortable. If your sexual feelings are aroused seeing her tiny tummy, you have no business to be in my house. We don’t need uncles who touch us in our private parts. We don’t need cousin brothers who wants to see our chest, and touch it. I am not ready to mould my daughter to fit into a box, to be safe. Instead I will teach her to raise her voice and hands at anyone who intrudes into her body space.

Trespassers are not allowed here. Violators will be shot.

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About the Author

Anjali Chakkoth
A traveller at heart, writing is my art. Love is my God and this world is my home. Music is the drug and Cinema is the flame.

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