Kunal Kapoor: Urgent need to address bullying
Amid Dr Payal Tadvi's suicide sparking discussion around bullying, Kunal Kapoor on why his upcoming social drama is relevant
In our films, schools and colleges are sanitised and presented in a perfect manner. This film shows them the way they are — imperfect," begins Kunal Kapoor, whose next, Noblemen, tackles the issue of bullying through the narrative of a 15-year-old protagonist.
The recent suicide of postgraduate medical student Dr Payal Tadvi has sparked nationwide discussion on bullying and its emotional impact on the victims. Considering the wide reach that cinema enjoys, the actor argues that films should shine a spotlight on such social ills, thereby spreading awareness.
"A good film is one which not only engages you, but also forces you to question things. The issue of bullying has not been addressed enough; there is an urgent need to do something about it. While our film [deals with bullying] in a school, that is just the microcosm of what happens in our society. [It also happens] at colleges, workplaces, and even our homes." The actor, who plays a drama teacher in the Vandana Kataria-directed vehicle, says he drew references from his personal life to perfect the act. "I [was inspired by] my English literature teacher; she had an unorthodox
way of teaching."
Bullying costs a life
Dr Payal Tadvi, a medical student attached to BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai, committed suicide on May 22. Her family alleged that three of her seniors — Dr Hema Ahuja, Dr Bhakti Mehare and Dr Ankita Khandelwal — used to rag her and hurl casteist abuses at her, leading to her death. The three senior doctors were arrested soon after. Yesterday, a special court judge PB Jadhav rejected their bail applications.
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