Two weeks back I watched the movie Taken on Star Movies. I must admit that I am a fan of Liam Neeson, and a sucker for good revenge flicks (Payback comes to mind). So it was no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie up to the very end. The only glitch I felt was that Neeson's character is portrayed as being totally paranoid, and unless you knew that his daughter was going to be kidnapped, you'd definitely get very, very irritated. Now for those of you who haven't watched the movie, the story revolves around Bryan Mills ( Liam Neeson), a retired CIA operative, who races against time (and halfway across the globe) to rescue his 17 year old daughter who has been kidnapped by an Albanese gang of human traffickers in Paris. When he hunts down the kidnapper, the guy confesses to Mills that since his daughter was a virgin, she is going to be sold. And the part of the movie I found most disturbing was when Mills is forced to watch his daughter being auctioned off in a Paris nightclub. It was a shocking as well as sad scene, since, although we don't come across stuff like these in our daily lives, at the back of our minds we are all aware that these are part of the daily life elsewhere in the world. But now you can all be shocked sitting comfortably in your couch - for it is coming to a TV near you.
Voyeurism has been an instinct of the undisciplined mind from time immemorial. The eagerness to know what is happening within the walls of your neighbour's home, the desire to follow every movement of your favourite (or not so favourite) celebrity, the never ending gossips at the water cooler - all these were the main escapes of everyday Peeping Tom. Our moral codes kept further expansion in check. But then came along reality shows. It started off when singing competitions were televised, and media moguls noticed that TRP ratings shot up when the participants cried. Something that was considered the part of the private life of a person was suddenly on national television. So they took another step; then another and another and another. Movies like The Condemned and Death Race cashed in on how this trend would be taken further. And then something caught my eye in today's paper that absolutely shook me to the core: New reality TV show to auction virgins.
Yes, a show where virgin girls and boys are going to be auctioned off on national television, and that too the ad for interested participants were advertised together with picture of the Virgin Mary! This is a sign of our times, and if we do not act then we will be forced to witness the sale of human beings today and rape, torture and murder tomorrow. All under the freedom of expression! Please protest against this in whatever way you can, most importantly, keep it in your prayers.
The Holy Father's prayer intentions for the month of May could not be more relevant:
That the shameful and monstrous commerce in human beings, which sadly involves millions of women and children, may be ended.