“Killing the rapists”… is the title of an upcoming Bollywood movie which wants to address the burning issue of rape in India. It aims to represent women differently from some other Bollywood productions, where women are often represented either as mythical pure Savitri’s or as entirely negative impure beings of the lowest cast. In “Kill the Rapists” the film makers want to change the current image of women in Bollywood film and show the harsh reality of India’s rape epidemic.
The issue of rape in India became front-page news when a 23-year old student was gang raped on a in Delhi on December 2012. The details of this rape are gruesome: the victim’s intestines had to be surgically removed and she died thirteen days after the attack. In July this year, six men were sentenced to life in prison for brutally raping a Swiss tourist in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Just a month later it was reported that a 22-year-old photojournalist in Mumbai was gang-raped by five men. The sad fact is that in India, every twenty minutes a woman is raped and nearly one in three victims is under 18 years old.
Why is this occurring and is India ready for change? Some claim that rape in India is a recent phenomenon which has arisen in the wake of modernization. It may seem so with the National Crime Records Bureau showing a 900 percent increase in registered rape cases in India over the past 40 years while murder has gone up by 250 per cent in 60 years. Others however claim that the real reason can be found in India’s male dominated culture in which boys are preferred to girls.
In India every twenty minutes a woman is raped!
Whatever the reason is, two film producers have decided it is time to change the image of women in India. The thriller “Killing the Rapists?” which they are producing is to be released in December 2013, marking the one-year old anniversary of the Delhi gang rape. According to the facebookpage, they want to make “every rapist shiver with fear before even thinking of rape”. The movie tells the story of a single woman who is being stalked by a rapist and not taken seriously by the police, even after a first attempt of the man to rape her. When one night he breaks into her home, she manages to overpower him. What follows then, is a moral pondering within a 12 hour frame about what she and her two female flat mates should do with him next.
The moviemakers emphasize that they are not encouraging people to go and kill rapists. Rather, they want to open the debate and address the failures of the Indian legal system, where for example marital rape is legal. They want to empower women across the globe and change their image. But above all, they want to stop rape. This is an ambitious goal, but remember that Bollywood movies have a broader audience than Hollywood and thus the movie might really contribute to raise awareness and open up discussion. If the movie stops even one man from raping a women, the directors will be satisfied.