The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: As fans hound woman journalist, actor Vijay’s statement is too late and too weak

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more)

The Big Story: Unruly fans

The ugly side of South India’s movie fan mania came into the spotlight last week when a woman journalist was harassed online for criticising a film in a wry tweet. The News Minute editor-in-chief Dhanya Rajendran said on Twitter that she had not been able to bring herself to sit through Shah Rukh Khan’s latest movie Harry Met Sejal, adding that it was worse than actor Vijay’s 2010 Tamil film Sura. To most people, this was an innocuous observation. But not for some of Vijay’s fans.

For days, Rajendran was harassed on Twitter, mocked, insulted and even threatened with sexual violence. A hashtag, #PublicityBeepDhanya, was devised to target her. After more than 65,000 tweets had been posted about her, Rajendran decided to file a police complaint on Wednesday. A First Information Report has been registered in Chennai against some of her trolls.

Despite widespread condemnation, Vijay chose to remain silent for days. It took him until Wednesday night to make a statement. And when it came, it seemed inadequate. Though the actor asked people in general to respect women and not make insulting comments online that could hurt sentiments, he did not mention the behaviour of his fans – let alone condemn it.

The ugly episode has rekindled the debate about the patriarchal underpinnings of many movie-star fans clubs in South India. Male movie stars are treated like gods, as they project conservative values by playing roles that reinforce traditional notions about a woman’s place in the family and society. In many of Vijay’s movies, for instance, women are merely decorative elements in the plot. But sermons about how a woman should behave are a consistent part of his movies. It isn’t surprising, then, that so many of his fans took offence at the temerity of a woman journalist at criticising their hero.

In South India, though, the line between the screen and the street are often blurred. Since the legendary MG Ramachandran in the 1970s, fan clubs have been the foundation on which cinema stars have built political careers. Stars know that their actions have the ability to influence the decisions of hundreds of thousands of fans. That’s why it’s essential for Vijay and other big stars to act quickly to rein in people claiming to be protecting the honour of their heros. Failing to do so only seems to endorse such crude behaviour.

The Big Scroll

Facebook policies allow trolls to target women online, reports Aarefa Johari.

Punditry

  1. Ajay Srivatsava in the Times of India explains how GST is affecting small export firms. 
  2. In the Mint, Sandeep Bharadwaj says the Doklam standoff with China could bring Bhutan and India closer. 
  3. SY Quaraishi writes in the Indian Express on how the Election Commission covered itself in glory by resisting pressure in the recent Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls. 

Giggles

Don’t miss

In the second part of this series on the BJP’s expansion in West Bengal, Shoaib Daniyal looks the role of Bangladeshi Hindu immigrants in the party’s strategy.

“Now the BJP is pushing the Hindu immigrant cause in the hope that it can replicate the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Trinamool Congress’s success in netting the bloc. The party even has a refugee cell, set up in 2014, before the Lok Sabha elections. ‘The BJP is very serious about refugee welfare,’ said Mohit Ray, head of the BJP’s Refugee Cell in West Bengal, speaking to Scroll.in. ‘In West Bengal, we are the only party that talks about the refugee issue.’” 

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What’s the difference between ‘a’ washing machine and a ‘great’ washing machine?

The right machine can save water, power consumption, time, energy and your clothes from damage.

In 2010, Hans Rosling, a Swedish statistician, convinced a room full of people that the washing machine was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution. In the TED talk delivered by him, he illuminates how the washing machine freed women from doing hours of labour intensive laundry, giving them the time to read books and eventually join the labour force. Rosling’s argument rings true even today as it is difficult to deny the significance of the washing machine in our everyday lives.

For many households, buying a washing machine is a sizable investment. Oddly, buyers underestimate the importance of the decision-making process while buying one and don’t research the purchase as much as they would for a television or refrigerator. Most buyers limit their buying criteria to type, size and price of the washing machine.

Visible technological advancements can be seen all around us, making it fair to expect a lot more from household appliances, especially washing machines. Here are a few features to expect and look out for before investing in a washing machine:

Cover your basics

Do you wash your towels every day? How frequently do you do your laundry? Are you okay with a bit of manual intervention during the wash cycle? These questions will help filter the basic type of washing machine you need. The semi-automatics require manual intervention to move clothes from the washing tub to the drying tub and are priced lower than a fully-automatic. A fully-automatic comes in two types: front load and top load. Front loading machines use less water by rotating the inner drum and using gravity to move the clothes through water.

Size matters

The size or the capacity of the machine is directly proportional to the consumption of electricity. The right machine capacity depends on the daily requirement of the household. For instance, for couples or individuals, a 6kg capacity would be adequate whereas a family of four might need an 8 kg or bigger capacity for their laundry needs. This is an important factor to consider since the wrong decision can consume an unnecessary amount of electricity.

Machine intelligence that helps save time

In situations when time works against you and your laundry, features of a well-designed washing machine can come to rescue. There are programmes for urgent laundry needs that provide clean laundry in a super quick 15 to 30 minutes’ cycle; a time delay feature that can assist you to start the laundry at a desired time etc. Many of these features dispel the notion that longer wash cycles mean cleaner clothes. In fact, some washing machines come with pre-activated wash cycles that offer shortest wash cycles across all programmes without compromising on cleanliness.

The green quotient

Despite the conveniences washing machines offer, many of them also consume a substantial amount of electricity and water. By paying close attention to performance features, it’s possible to find washing machines that use less water and energy. For example, there are machines which can adjust the levels of water used based on the size of the load. The reduced water usage, in turn, helps reduce the usage of electricity. Further, machines that promise a silent, no-vibration wash don’t just reduce noise – they are also more efficient as they are designed to work with less friction, thus reducing the energy consumed.

Customisable washing modes

Crushed dresses, out-of-shape shirts and shrunken sweaters are stuff of laundry nightmares. Most of us would rather take out the time to hand wash our expensive items of clothing rather than trusting the washing machine. To get the dirt out of clothes, washing machines use speed to first agitate the clothes and spin the water out of them, a process that takes a toll on the fabric. Fortunately, advanced machines come equipped with washing modes that control speed and water temperature depending on the fabric. While jeans and towels can endure a high-speed tumble and spin action, delicate fabrics like silk need a gentler wash at low speeds. Some machines also have a monsoon mode. This is an India specific mode that gives clothes a hot rinse and spin to reduce drying time during monsoons. A super clean mode will use hot water to clean the clothes deeply.

Washing machines have come a long way, from a wooden drum powered by motor to high-tech machines that come equipped with automatic washing modes. Bosch washing machines include all the above-mentioned features and provide damage free laundry in an energy efficient way. With 32 different washing modes, Bosch washing machines can create custom wash cycles for different types of laundry, be it lightly soiled linens, or stained woollens. The ActiveWater feature in Bosch washing machines senses the laundry load and optimises the usage of water and electricity. Its EcoSilentDrive motor draws energy from a permanent magnet, thereby saving energy and giving a silent wash. The fear of expensive clothes being wringed to shapelessness in a washing machine is a common one. The video below explains how Bosch’s unique VarioDrumTM technology achieves damage free laundry.

Play

To start your search for the perfect washing machine, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Bosch and not by the Scroll editorial team.