Out of the Bengali Movies released in 2018, হামি (Haami) is one of the best movies. The word ‘হামি’ (haami) in Bengali means a small innocent peck on the cheek of another person. There is no sexual intention behind this and it’s only to show affection and care towards that person.
No, this doesn’t mean that the movie হামি (haami) revolves around a peck. But an innocent peck definitely takes the major part of it.
‘Haami’ – The Plot
The movie is about two childhood friends Bhutu and Chini (studying in class 1) who belonged to two different socio-economic classes. Bhutu’s parents are from a middle-class business family that is recently growing and Chini’s parents belong to the elite academia. While Bhutto’s parents lived in Kolkata, Chini’s family came back to Kolkata from Delhi. Their parents’ economic and social differences, however, didn’t lead to any form of hindrance to growing their friendship until a friendship day celebration in school when an innocent act of the boy became a big issue.
On that Friendship Day when Chini tied a friendship band on the wrist of her friend Bhutu, He didn’t have anything to give her in return, so he gave her a হামি (peck).
Earlier while explaining what the word ‘pregnant’ meant, Chini’s parents told her that, ‘when a man loves a woman and gives her a হামি (peck), then she becomes pregnant’. The little girl thought since her friend Bhutu had given her a ‘haami’, she was pregnant. That is what she told her teacher as well, that she was pregnant.
Hearing that, her class teacher and principal were shocked but after knowing the reality, they thought of just letting it go. They, however, thought of informing her parents as well. But in the parent-teacher meeting, this took an ugly turn with the elitist parents of Chini demanding a separate section for Chini. They didn’t their daughter to mingle with Bhutu anymore. Bhutu was notorious for his misdeeds and earlier he had fights with other boys as well. So, Bhutu and his parents received a warning and a threat of possible expulsion from the school.
The School then separated the two kids and kept Chini to a different section. This forceful separation made both the children very sad. They didn’t know what was wrong and the girl was very upset. Her parents, however, thought that the school wanted to brush aside a serious problem.
This was the time when in an unfortunate incident, a popular male attendant of a school bus got caught in a wrong situation. One day he found a little girl crying in the empty bus and was refusing to get off the bus. So, being an attendant, he went to scrutinize and tried to console the girl. As he was trying to console the girl by taking her on his lap, a female guardian of another student saw that and started screaming that incident as molestation. Soon, other guardians gathered around and without even hearing anything they wanted to take their revenge on the male attendant. Soon, the school became a battlefield with guardians up against the school management for the lack of security of their kids.
Medical examination of the girl, however, didn’t find any assault or any other problem. Later it was learned that the girl has peed in her uniform and was afraid that her friends would bully her. So, she was scared to board off the bus. However, by then the bus driver and the attendant were arrested and the media was flashing this news all over.
To know what happened after this, you need to see the film.
This film was very relevant to early 2018 Kolkata as Kolkata had seen a series of fake POCSO complaints from December 2017 onwards. Now, we need to go little backward to understand the ramifications of previous events that have led to the series of POCSO complaints.
Kailash Satyarthi, Bharat Yatra and POCSO Hype
To understand what happened in Kolkata and many other schools in India in late 2017 and early 2018, we need to go back to early 2017 when the seeds of such unrest were sown by a child rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi. In his Bharat Yatra in early 2017, he went all over India and created a hype around POCSO. He started promoting that POCSO was a growing menace in India and India needed strong laws against it. Being a non-political person of eminence, everyone believed in his hyped stories and there was a mass awareness (or should I say ‘terror’) created in the minds of the guardians.
Kailash Satyarthi mostly blamed the fathers and other male relatives for abusing the girl children at home and also raised the point of girls were not safe in schools. He came on KBC 2017 Grand Finale to spread his lies based on completely baseless stories. With another celebrity Amitabh Bachchan’s charisma added to the lies, the lies became rock solid in the minds of general people. This was nothing by brainwashing people into believing that there were too much of child sexual abuse happening around. So, these mindless actions by celebrities (or should I say mindful actions and they just wanted to create a disturbance in the society) have created an impatient mob in common men. They started finding a molester everywhere and even when there was no molestation they went all out to create a ruckus in the society. Media and specifically English media has added to the hype by spreading rumors and lies around.
We have seen that followed by Kailash Satyarthi’s agenda-driven activism, our POCSO act was amended in Nov 2017 and then we suddenly saw a spurt in POCSO cases in our schools.
Feminism and POCSO
The movie হামি (haami) was released at a time when Kolkata was completely in the grip of false POCSO complaints. The parents who raised complaints without any basis vanished from media debates in no time. There were guardians who came forward to refute the claims and blamed some sick minded parents to destabilize the educational environment in West Bengal. Kolkata has seen the worst face of communist evil forces that only believed in destabilizing the city and corrupting young minds with evil thoughts of sexual abuse.
Schools or Fortresses
The film হামি (haami) showed us a bitter reality of our schools today. Our schools have become fortresses with high walls, closed doors, and full CCTV surveillance. After Kolkata POCSO complaints there was the demand of installing CCTV camera in school buses as well and also for removal of all male staff from primary schools. Haami showed that the education system that was once the temples of learning with complete trust between the parents and the teachers have become places of growing mistrust. Teachers could be seen remembering their childhood days when there were no high walls or no CCTV camera. There was also no molestation. With the increase in school fees and heightened security measures, the claims of child abuse have only increased.
None of these claims are proved yet. The cases will run for years and we will not even know when the verdicts are out. But by then, some falsely accused males would have completed years in prison. They would have spent all their savings on fighting the battles created by evil-minded NGOs.
Schools of Perverts
There was a time when our children didn’t learn sexual education and they were not abused as well. As our schools have turned into fortresses with CCTV camera surveillance all the time, and with special classes on sexual education, now children are exposed to this false drama every other day. With ever-increasing mistrust and sick minded guardians, our children are used as pawns to raise such complaints. Since children are involved, no one ever talks about punishing the false complainant because children can always make mistakes and more than the children it is their parents who need to take informed decisions. But when parents themselves are brainwashed by media and celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Kailash Satyarthi who in reality are the culprits?
Who should be blamed? Parents, who react like fools or celebrities who create such situation and use media to hypnotize the nation?
We also need to think about what lessons we are teaching our children. At a very tender age, they are learning about filing false complainants, creating false hype around sexual cases and hiding behind eternal victimhood created by feminists. What will these children do in the future? Will they contribute in a positive manner or just react out of proportion and always be violent?
Vulnerability of Boys
Haami (হামি) as a movie shows how vulnerable are boys in our society today. Bhutu’s innocent haami (peck) has become an issue to Chini’s parents. This expression of affection was termed as signs of perversion. This is again exaggerated as Bhutu did not belong to the elite class. The movie showed how boys are alienated from the mainstream society early in their life.
Feminists once advocated co-education schools to ensure boys and girls mingled freely to shed sexual taboos and they claimed that this free mixing of two genders early in life would help create a better society. Feminists claimed that co-ed schools will eliminate violence against women as the boys who learn about women better, accept them as equals.
However, the movie haami (হামি) shows the bitter reality. When the co-ed schools discriminate between a boy and a girl child, gives them unequal punishment and treats boys harsher than the girls, how can we imagine that co-ed schools will create better future generation? They, in fact, create early gender hatred in boys or intimidate them so much to create more self-harm.
Haami (হামি) – Cast and Crew
Shiboprasad Mukherjee who is also one of the directors of the movie Haami (Nandita Roy is the other director), played the businessman father of Bhutu. He is absolutely brilliant in this film with his impeccable acting skills mixed with his acute sense of humour. His character of a middle-class Bengali businessman who is afraid of everything around him and wants the best for his son brought his innocent charm in this movie. Gargi Roychowdhury played the role of his wife and Bhutu’s mother was a protective mother of a son and she fought with the mother of another student (wife of a local counselor) to save her son’s dignity.
Kharaj Mulkherjee played the role of a local councilor and it’s needless to say that he is a treat to all viewers as always. His sense of humor and acting brilliance needs no mention. In his character, even though he is a dreaded local leader, he is also a henpecked husband and has depicted both the characters very well.
Other characters worth the mention are Tanusree Shankar (the Principal of Bhutu’s school) and Aparajita Adhya (class teacher) and of course the child artists.
Messages ‘Haami’ Delivers
Film Haami (হামি ) brings many important messages to us. It raises the question whether our childhood today is any better in high-cost co-ed schools? If we as parents complain about the high cost of education, then it is we who demand all sophisticated facilities like CCTV camera, modern teaching techniques and what not. After the series of fake POCSO complaints in Kolkata, a demand was raised to install CCTV camera even in buses. But who pays for these? With these higher costs, education only becomes a business opportunity. A mere business transaction.
Haami (হামি) also shows that if small things are blown out of proportion like we have seen in Kolkata and other cities as well, we will only do injustice to our children. The parents who raise such false complaints are never punished. They remain hidden under their victim masks but the overall education system collapses. Like we have seen in Kolkata where schools were shut for days to control warring parents.
Haami (হামি) also shows us that in the education system today boys are highly vulnerable as men. We have seen Chachaji (the school bus attendant) accused of molestation because of some hypersensitive woman went berserk over a matter she didn’t know properly. So, even though Chachaji was acquitted after the truth came out, no one was punished for wrongful violent behavior. The mother who shouted sexual abuse and created the ruckus was a feminist rowdy (or should I say a victim of feminism, an ever afraid parent or a victim of a child rights conspiracy). She knew how to blow things out of proportion without any thinking. These women are not rare nowadays. They are present everywhere; in every city and in every school. Because they are not punished, they can do any kind of harm to the society – shows why feminism is social cancer. Shows why these parents can’t give us better offspring.
Haami (হামি) brings back the age-old debate. Are separate schools for boys and girls better compared to co-ed schools as traditional India used to believe? If we believe what feminists scholars told us to believe that co-ed schools make a better future generation, then it’s only the male employees and male students become the target. The liberals who propagate all forms of open vulgarity as their right (Kolkata has seen that in the Metro rail incident) how can they expect that their children will not be vulgar? Can a child distinguish between the right and the wrong? When a peck (হামি) by a child to another child becomes an issue and can lead to unnecessary discussions, where exactly we are heading to at the expense of our boys? This doesn’t give us any better feeling to accept that co-ed schools are better.
Haami (হামি) also shows how women have got a free hand in domestic violence because laws favor them. Even a local councilor (Kharaj Mukherjee) who is otherwise a terror in the locality becomes helpless in front of his wife’s domestic violence. Another reality that has taken many lives of politicians, IAS and IPS officers. We have seen many examples of that recently. This raises a serious question about the gender parity in our society.
In short, haami (হামি) as a movie is a brilliant combination of artwork with entertainment and a strong social message delivered at the right time. This movie achieves what MRAs could not achieve after a series of false POCSO complaints in Kolkata. The movie makers deserve a big salute from all of us.