Is cinema & social media making youth violent?

By M Bharat Kumar Published on Aug 06, 2018 01:14 PM IST

Chennai: A teenager set a girl on fire for not accepting his proposal at Adambakkam. A class 11 student elopes with a ninth standard girl in Kanchipuram.

A minor snatches gold chains to lead a cozy life. A tenth standard girl gets threatened by a techie demanding money after they developed love through Facebook.

And, angered at his aunt chiding him for loving her daughter studying class eight, a tenth standard student kills her in Aminjikarai.

These are shocking headlines in the media in the recent past. A majority of the criminals/affected were students.

The question on the lip of everyone is- Who should be blamed for this? What role the growing influence of films and social media on young minds has in these crimes?

Speaking to ‘News Today’, Vasudevan, a government teacher, says,”Though cinema is a powerful tool for entertainment and to convey social messages, a few flicks made recently were indeed very harmful. They end up corrupting the minds and spoil the character of children. Such pictures have done the greatest harm to students. They neglect their studies and take interest in talking about the roles of different film stars. The whole course of their life is changed.”

“Much recently, a couple of boys robbed money from their houses to watch a film on a working day. Instead of punishing them, I politely adviced them how their parents are working hard to bring them up and stressed on the need to study well,” he added.

Dhanalakshmi, a parent in Nanganallur, said,”We should blame it on the media. Negative things are glorified in newspapers. Cinemas celebrate villains. Violence on screen is appreciated. Wrong acts like eve-teasing, trolling and taking revenge on girls for not accepting love proposals are often justified. It emboldens young minds to do them in real life. Romance in schools have become the theme for many films.”

Ramakrishnan, a techie from Porur, says,”Ever since the smartphones came to the hands of youngsters, they are exposed to all dangers. Various social networking sites and dating sites, easy availability of porn are the culprits. Parents should have a check on what their wards see. With nuclear families and working parents, children obviously fall for such things. Technology has both pros and cons. It is upto how we use them.”

However, differing from these views is child psychiatrist Dr Sumathi. She says,”Why blame others? Charity begins at home. Parents should spend time with their children, know what they do and where they go often. Gifting them electronic gadgets like smartphones at such a young age should be the last thing that they should do.”

“Moral values and respect for women should be taught in the families. With schools increasingly becoming a place where only marks matters, the responsibility lies more on the shoulders of parents,” she says.

“Had we done this long back, we could have saved many innocent Swathis in our land,” she winds up.