Bollywood’s Ridiculous Stance on Rape.

I’m not a big fan well not a fan at all of Bollywood movies or soaps. When I was young I used to enjoy sitting next to my dad cheering the hero and booing the villain to the very melodramatic Bollywood action films. However, now I just can’t stand them and ridiculous representations are to blame. Let’s be honest Bollywood films are racist, sexist, too much focus on one’s class, every Muslim or Hindu character has to hate each other and the very few White characters they have can barely speak a word of English and usually are from Ukraine or some random European country. Focusing on the main character representation which is used in family  soaps and films. I have realised the writers who write these scripts must be living on Mars, as they are completely out of touch with reality (within this planet). For example we have the daughter-in-law’s (dil) representation which is beyond human; I mean she’s just a fricking angel. No pressure much! She lives in a big mansion with her extended family in law, always dolled up, blinged out and she is always found going to bed in her bling and designer Sari gear. Oh and the evil mother-in-law (mil) who loathes her daughter-in-law due to her taking her son’s attention away from his mother. Even though it was an arrange marriage (awkward silence). Then we have the father-in-law now he’s either Mr nice guy who is constantly praising his dil and his wife wears the trousers in their relationship or he’s just a good for nothing bum, who is just reading the newspaper and drinking chai (tea). And then there’s the husband. Well this guy is just a lost soul who needs constant love and affection. He also treats his wife like his maid but doesn’t realise as he says “can you  iron my socks” or “can you put some food in my plate and cut up the meat and chew it for me and then put it in my mouth”  in a sweet tone which leaves the wife blushing. This also leaves the mil bitter towards the wife as for some creepy reason she only wants this affection from her son.

So that’s the main characters where the soaps or films revolve around and their representations. Funny right, but not so funny for some of the South Asians out there as they take these soaps and films very  seriously along with the representations. Jokes aside, I’m here to discuss a more serious matter within Bollywood. Rape. I have always found that this institution just doesn’t understand rape or even understand the victims of rape. This became evident to me when I watched the famous classic Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat (My King Will Arrive). For those who have seen it I’m sure you know what I mean when I say this film I found disgusting and disappointing. However unfortunately for many South Asians especially the older generations this is just a sweet rom-com. The film is focused on a young dedicated school teacher Mala. She has a dream that her groom will arrive on a horse and their wedding will be celebrated the Jay Z and Beyonce way, big and lavish. So shit gets bad for Mala when she interrupts a wedding as the groom had an affair with Mala’s mate. Her interruption leads to the cancelation of the wedding.  The cheating groom’s bro Raja is enraged by Mala’s audacity to speak against his brother and begins to insult her. Mala reacts by slapping him.

Raja seeks revenge by finding out where Mala works and one day in broad daylight steps inside her classroom where she is teaching and rapes her in front of her pupils, leaving her naked. Pretty dramatic right. Now up until here it was all fine, well apart from him raping her in front of her pupils. The thing that really began to tick me off was the further we went into the story the more bizarre it became. For example, after Mala is raped she is shown walking in the street to her parent guardian’s house naked, with her pupils. Hmm now what’s wrong here? Well the writers have completely misunderstood the effects and traumatisation of rape. Rape is a humiliating evil thing, I have never heard or read about a rape victim whose just been raped walking naked on the streets to go home and show her parent what’s happened to her.  I mean have these writers’ even bothered to speak to actual rape victims? It’s so unrealistic and borderline offensive! Many rape victims who watched this film must have been offended. The next strange thing to come is when court procedures begin, Mala literally after a week of being raped gets the strength to fight in court for her justice. Her lawyer expresses his concern about the courts questions. Private ones. Questions that rape victims in real life would be broken down and traumatised by as they would have to mentally live the experience again. But what does Mala do, after one week of being raped; she slams the lawyer and his concerns and says she is willing to tell the whole world what her perpetrator did to her. Hmm see anything wrong here?

The court rules against Raja and in favour of Mala. But how do they punish and bring justice to Mala? Do they give him a life sentence? A sentence for 25 years? A massive fine and a couple of years in prison? No. instead the court decide the only way justice can be bought for Mala is for her to marry her rapist for the next 24 hours. Sick! Sick! Sick!

I don’t care if this is just a fictional film; I need to express my concern. So this court, this government, this director, writer, producer and cast believe the best way to bring a raped woman any justice is for her to marry her offender. What on earth! The guy has raped someone; it was a conscious decision he took. By her marrying, he will not just change his disgusting character. Eugh I bang my head up against the wall when it comes to Bollywood and South Asia’s general lazy attitude on rape. In all of these films or soaps where the matter or rape is discussed the important focus is given on the woman’s reputation, her families reputation and who will marry her now. Never is discussed the traumatic effect she may be going through, the constant fear she may be living in, the physical pain she may be in as most rape victims in these soaps and films happen to be virgins. The only thing that is discussed is how tainted she is now. To herself and to her society.

I believe the South Asian community need to educate themselves about rape. The term used in Hindi to describe rape is “Balatkar” in English this can be interpreted as having been robbed and destroyed by force and violence. Robbed off what? This is mostly expressed in Bollywood and within South Asian communities as respect, dignity and honour. The role of honour killings also is relevant when discussing rape and South Asian community.  This ideology needs to change. Powerful institutions like the media and government are hugely to blame for this sick ideology on rape. The media has failed to educate viewers on what rape actually is and has failed to take the victims into account. The government has failed to care and have turned a blind eye on such an inhumane crime.

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Rkab

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22 thoughts on “Bollywood’s Ridiculous Stance on Rape.

  1. The film was ridiculous; I vaguely recollect the movie.
    But the sad part is all of this is true. I don’t know how many regional Indian newspapers you read but rape survivor paraded naked and made to marry the accused is very common. Predominantly in villages.
    Forget the films as everyone, see the news. It’s sad people forget that too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood my point. you have rightfully said “rape survivor”and yes I have seen this. Women are trying to get people to establish them as strong survivors rather then victims. However, I was referring to the film. The character as soon as she gets raped, she is not parading she is walking looking rather distressed home with along with her students. This is were the films failed to understand rape victims. Perhaps this scene should have been used near the end, instead of her walking naked looking distressed, they should have shown her parading naked to represent whatever metaphor these survivors are trying to rightfully represent, to show in the light of a survivor. I also mentioned the media near the end, the news falls under this category. It’s a disturbing reality for many women, this strange custom I can never comprehend what good do people think who affiliate this will come to. The South Asian needs to educate themselves about rape.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah… well. I am hoping that at least the film fraternity has grown in 20 years or atleast pretending to, by not showcasing such thought processes. Off the reel, I am really doubtful. The ‘item numbers’ and the lyrics have taken over to damage the mentality instead.
        Twenty years since this forgotten film came? Sadly, There is barely a difference to be seen that has made a dent.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That is truly sad to hear, and yes these films and let’s face it Bollywood is a huge part of many Indian and Pakistani peoples lives. Therefore the directors need to be more conscious of there decisions as god knows how many lunatics they’re influencing. Also I still don’t understand what good marriage will bring? Is this so the girls reputation will be saved? Sorry to sound so oblivious but that’s the only “logical” reasoning that comes to mind when trying to understand this.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There is no ‘logic’ here! In smaller and uneducated communities, where the female gets pregnant often marriage is a solution. Neither can they afford to take action nor do they want to face the ‘stigma’
        Boils down to proper education and development.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Right so unfortunately my reasoning comes into play too. There sure is no logic in our minds about this, but like those who lack education believe this is the only logical think to do. Or honour killings. That’s true it really does “Boils down to proper education and development”. And how horrific for the woman or girl, when does she come into reasoning? Or does she not matter, as this is just a sad thing that’s happened to her and will just have to endure. Sickening.

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      5. It is sad that in some circles for most people she really does NOT matter. As sickened as we are, those women are living it.
        But the fact that we talking about it… who knows. The ball needs to get rolling.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. As long as women teach their sons “go out and play with girls of others” and that “girls are objects for your desires of all types” and prove your manhood etc etc nonsense, how can south asia actually tackle its rape and violence against women issues?
        I have seen women actually defending their sons saying ” woh tu larka hai” .. pun stressed. My foot if he is a boy, he better zip his pants or I will cut his jewelry. (Sorry for my offensiveness here)
        And I totally like how you have raised the issue of a rape victim’s trauma both physical and psychological, with WAR we do a lot of work with survivors and its really so heart breaking to learn their tales of terror at hands of weak men who know they can get away with everything in a world like south asia where religion, society and culture is all in favor of them.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. YahoO, no offence to Bollywood but what you narrate is also very common on this side of border too. The parading rape victims naked and otherwise is also a very pleasure trend of patriarchal Pakistan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yea, I used to watch to them too as a kid and I grew out of them because I realized they were sooooo really unrealistic. Don’t get me wrong some are very eye-opening like “Three Idiots” or “Slum dog millionaire” . Sorry if they’re too cliche :P! But I agree that raping a woman in front of students is a bit pushing the envelope too hard…Weren’t worried that this could be seen as rated R for pupils? Unless people actually rape women in daylight for everyone to see, this makes no sense! It actually teaches people that it’s acceptable behavior from male relatives and men in general. Furthermore, no rape victim is confortable right away recountiing the events. It takes a lot of brainpower and emotion power to talk about it. All this talk 😉 to say, you brought up a good point that needs to be addressed better. Bravo!

    Like

    1. I know right, I mean yes sometime the unrealistically and melodramatic content is amusing but most times I find myself conflicted. Of course there are many Bollywood movies bringing up refreshing topics in a neutral light however, most of them are just slightly bizarre and just plain stupid. Like this movie!

      Exactly “Weren’t worried that this could be seen as rated R for pupils? Unless people actually rape women in daylight for everyone to see, this makes no sense! It actually teaches people that it’s acceptable behavior from male relatives and men in general..” this whole paragraph is bloody amazing, thank you for developing my point! It’s worrying that they showed such a vulgar scene, and sure does make us question what on earth is acceptable and what is not?

      Regarding your last point that is exactly why I questioned if the writers actually met any rape victims for research or even if the actress did? I doubt they did. If you are going to play such a heavy role at least do your research in how to get into that character.

      Movies aside, I find this close minded attitude within my own community very concerning. This is something we need to tackle ASAP. Thank you for your support and comment much valued! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes and this is why brave young woman like yourself is writing on this issue and I am sure you will follow up with more stories in the future. I can also send you some research reports etc if you will need… just drop me a mail!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t watch this movie or the TV soaps but I agree with you there on each point. 1. The daily soaps that keep going on for decades show women in such a low light. If the DIL works, MIL sulks, if she doesn’t, then too. A DIL or even daughter is shown as an object and never a human being. 2. In such soaps, the men are shown as lords and as if their egos are supreme. 3. Rape is just a word for Bollywood writers. They hardly understand how much it breaks down a woman and what all she goes through. All these people want is a box office hit! Sad and sorry state!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, I couldn’t agree more! “They hardly understand how much it breaks down a woman and what all she goes through” and the question is why is this being overlooked? Surely women matter enough to at least get a proper representation. Rape really is just a word for these writers and this way there will be no progression at all. People do need to understand the effect of rape, these writers wrongly glorify it.

      Regarding your other points, this why I have given up on soaps and films. The representations are just awful!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly all of things simply prove the point women do not matter. But the question now is why? Why is so hard to value women? I recall watching a Pakistani soap, the mother character was telling her daughter that once a girl gets married only her husband can decide what his wife can wear or not. I thought to myself how absurd. Even though this sounds petty but it is these small things that lead to the bigger problems.

        South Asians, need to stop snatching a woman’s right away from her and giving it to a man. Stop treating men like Gods. After all they did to once upon a time need a woman to carry them for all those months!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Most men need women all their lives to carry them on after being born too, pun intended.
    Its easier said that done, however but how many people actually do that in real life, I usually take to task my family when I sense the preferential treatment nonsense being dolled out for bhai tu bhai hai, tum larki ho.
    Also, if women gave those powers to women, what’s stopping women from taking them back?! I started taking away rights of men a way long time ago.. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I bet the men are your biggest fans! And tell me about preferential treatment! Being an Asian female this treatment has been used many times to discriminate. I bet the ones implying it aren’t even aware. Usually these were the older ladies. I find it strange how most “aunties” don’t even practice even subtle feminism. At least tell your sons to wash the dishes there is no harm in him being independent in his house hygiene.

      Liked by 1 person

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