Tue, 11 Feb 2003

Indian films are OK.

In the Jan. 25 edition of The Jakarta Post I read a letter from Evy in Balikpapan in which she blamed Indian films on television for the increase in the rape of children.

My first reaction was to think that this was a joke and I was about to review my opinions about the poor sense of humor of Indonesian people. Several of my friends had a good laugh about the letter but we then had the idea that maybe Ibu Evy was serious. Oh dear! How sad!

I have to say that I have never seen anything even remotely decadent in any Indian films but even if people are shown hugging and kissing, is this really so bad? My children are already adults but if I had young kids now, I would prefer that they see films showing people being affectionate rather than being violent.

Indonesian TV is overwhelmed with violent films and it seems that is alright to show people being killed in the most sadistic ways as this is very entertaining but don't let the children see anyone showing affection as it could blight their lives forever!

The sexual and physical abuse of children is a serious problem and should not be treated lightly but it has been going on for centuries and to put the responsibility on Indian films is naive in the extreme. There are many people in this country whose fathers are also their grandfathers and this all happened long before the families had television.

Ibu Evy is putting her trust in Teguh Juwarno at RCTI who, she says, is very Islamic but I suggest to Pak Teguh that he consider the impact of the violent films rather than the singing and dancing Indian films.

ANDREW CHARLES, Denpasar, Bali