Film tackles taboos of sex crimes 0
A demonstrator holds a placard during a protest outside a court in New Delhi January 21, 2013. India's Supreme Court heard a petition on Tuesday by one of the five men charged with the gang rape and murder of a student in a bus to shift the case out of the capital on grounds that the atmosphere was too surcharged to ensure a fair trial. The assault on a 23-year-old woman on a New Delhi bus triggered an outpouring of anger and grief and calls for swift punishment for the five men and a juvenile who will be separately tried. (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)
The gang rape that shocked the world and shamed a nation has placed the world spotlight squarely on women’s rights in India. Four men convicted of raping and murdering a 23-year-old woman on a moving New Delhi bus in December now face either life imprisonment or death by hanging.
As the country struggles to identify and address issues related to women, the blame game is in full swing. In much the same way videogames are linked to gun violence in America, some critics are connecting India’s misogynistic crime spree to Bollywood — and at least one filmmaker has decided to do something about it.
Siddhartha Jain is the 39-year old producer of the controversial new film: Kill the Rapist? According to aljazeera.com, the plot revolves around a would-be victim who traps a serial rapist and must then decide what to do with him.
“I didn't want this just to be another story that would be forgotten in a year,” Jain said. “My film is an excuse to amplify the discussion of women's security and hopefully bring about some positive changes.”
According to the film’s Facebook page, Kill the Rapist? aims not only to motivate and empower women but also to make “every rapist shiver with fear before even thinking of rape.”
A similar effort that recently made headlines is the controversial bruised goddesses campaign launched by Save the Children India. The campaign depicted three of India’s most prominent goddesses battered and bruised, drawing attention to the underlying hypocrisy of goddess worship in a country where women face so many challenges.
Will Jain’s work help make India’s women safer? Who knows? But it will become part of a conversation that’s eroding the taboo of discussing sex crimes in a country deeply patriarchal — and that’s a step in the right direction.
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