You can be the biggest star of them all but you can still end up on the wrong side of your fans if you can’t be compassionate and empathetic. A video of superstar Rajinikanth, wife Latha and friends enjoying a private screening of his new movie, while the family’s domestic help stood watching it on her feet, throughout the screening, has left his fans irate.
The star’s family had booked Satyam theatre in Chennai to catch the evening show of the film but despite the fact that most of the seats were empty, the young girl was seen watching the movie while standing in the background.
Says a young star of Tamil cinema, “She could have sat anywhere in the theatre, a little away from family, if they did not want her near them. To make her stand and watch the film for a couple of hours was cruel. But the fact of the matter also is that domestic help in Tamil Nadu and, probably, in the rest of the country, are treated in this shoddy manner all the time. Employers believe that they have to be shown their place because, if are treated as equals, they will get swollen heads and be disrespectful. In many star homes in Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai, the domestic help is made to sleep on the floor, given food that is different from what the family eats and are treated like slaves. Rajini sir probably doesn’t think he’s doing anything shocking. If he had asked her to sit with them and enjoy 2.0, she would probably have fainted of shock.”
A Mumbai colleague of Rajinikanth admits there is widespread discrimination against the household staff in the film fraternity.
“It happens in every section of Indian society. It is the woman of the house who decides the treatment to be meted out to the staff. And often times this is guided by class distinction.”...