Kolkata: Veteran lyricist-scriptwriter Javed Akhtar on Monday came down heavily on the view that cinema spreads violence and criticised the trend of connecting incidences of rape to cinema.
"Our violence is caste-based, economic-based. I am not defending cinema. I am telling you let us not have a wrong diagnosis of a national problem because we will not be able to correct it then," Akhtar said at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.
He was asked by an audience member on the impact of the 'angry young man' image of megastar Amitabh Bachchan, created by Akhtar and Salim Khan (of the duo Salim-Javed).
"This is a fallacy, an excuse to think that cinema is spreading violence. There is no sociological study or survey which says how cinema influences society," he stressed.
Backing his claim, Akhtar said: "In places where there are less theatres, there is more violence. So how can we believe cinema is spreading violence in the society?"
The Sahitya Akademi awardee attributed the "clash of civilisation within our society" due to immigration to a culture shock for some.
"There is lot of immigration in the cities. There is a clash of civilisations within our society as under the same sky, people from different economic zones live. Exposure through media is so much that I am more aware of what I am deprived of than what I have," the 71-year-old said.
Explaining further, Akhtar said that when an average man from a small town, who is not exposed to women as men are in a city, is brought to the city, he begins hating women.
"Society is segregated in small towns. When you bring him to the city, he is used to seeing women from 100 yards and suddenly he sees different women, affluent and empowered women. He hates them. The rapes are not only sexual. It shows the kind of anger seething underneath in society.
"These grotesque rapes we blame it on cinema. For economic and social deprivation, you blame it on cinema," he lamented.
Akhtar termed cinema as a "whip boy" but cautioned: "We have to face the reality. Society makes cinema. Society governs and producer follow that."