Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Are stutterers the new untouchables?

India is infamous for its caste system, with the untouchables at the bottom of the social rank. As the caste system softens up, the attitude towards people with handicap doesn't. Check out this latest Indian movie that makes fun of people who stutter. I invite you all to contact the movie makers and condemn the movie. That also concerns stuttering associations worldwide. But I already expect the National Stuttering Association to cowardly hide behind the "We only comment on national matters" as they did with my request for support when I had to deal with Luxembourg ignorance.

Thanks goes to Eric for making me aware of:
Being from Sri Lanka, I was keeping an eye on an Indian PWS group's yahoo group mailing list. I just got info about a bollywood film that mocks PWS.

Here's the message. I don't know if you have to have the yahoo group membership to view it. I'll post the entire message at the end.

Here is the link to an online petition.

Could you mension this on your blog, or increase public awareness in some other way?


Anonymous said...

I watched the promo on youtube today and i found it very offensive. This is the only reason why i'm not a fan of bollywood movies. I'm a stutterer and i found these scenes to be very humiliating. This would encourage the people more to make fun of us stutters over here. This is very cheap and i urge everybody to boycott this movie. I just cannot understand how can people make fun of people's disability and get away with it. Just because they can't understand the pain we go through when we stutter that doesn't give them the permit/right to make fun of it coz stuttering is not funny. I know how much i have to struggle (both mentally and physically) to just speak 1 sentence properly.

Satyendra said...

Thnaks Tom!
Let us light many lamps of understanding, awareness and acceptance, this Deepawali (festival of lights in India)- through this campaign..
sachin for TISA

Anonymous said...

The NSA not doing anything would be a good thing. The NSA should stick to patting their favorite members on the back, being a mediocre information source, and throwing corny parties. I have yet to them do anything RIGHT.

I don't care much about the movie, but it would be great if the right people spoke up, in all matters involving stuttering. We need someone intelligent that comes of as successful and a generally rough person, that stutters. The NSA should stay out of choosing the people. Remember the Keynote speaker the 2010 conference.

I care more about an interview with John Douglas, summarized in the first sentence of this article, and the people the NSA gets to comment on things. In comparison to these things. This movie is nothing.

Pam said...

I am an intelligent person that stutters and I frequesnly push to get things into the media to raise awareness. I have done interviews on radio and television, and have had several pieces published in print media. And I am not famous.

I was fortunate enough to have on article I wrote about kids who stutter published last week in honor of ISAD. I used my experience of stuttering (in third person and from a child's viewpoint) to illustrate the impact of teasing and bullying.
Here's the link - check it out!

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that you start off your blog post with a mention of the "caste system" rather than the portrayal of stuttering in the Bollywood movie - as if the two are related. They are not. We as stutterers do not like to be caricatured and what you are doing is no more that caricaturing India - in the typical Western way. India is a complex country with its share of problems. It has progressed a lot but still has a lot of challenges. But the `caste system' does not define it any more than slavery or racism defines the US. It would be just as ridiculous to make a connection between racism in the US and the portrayal of stuttering in My Cousin Vinny (which in my opinion was very negative). The movie is still quite popular and you can see it being broadcast on cable occasionally.


L. (Stottern in Zuerich) said...

I don't think I have enough data to really judge this movie. These small snippets are not enough. I also haven't seen a translation of the text, yet.

To me it's not clear how a cinema audience will react to scenes like these. I'm not sure if the humiliation of a stutterer will be very funny or rather raise empathy.

It all depends on how the stuttering character will develop in the movie: Maybe he will overcome stuttering or be more successful in certain ways than the fluently speaking characters.

It's probably a stupid movie but I'm not sure about it's effect on those who watch it. After all, it's an opportunity to tell the public what stuttering is really like.