A year after the December 16 gangrape in the Capital, we look at how our entertainment industry has contributed to the cause of women safety.
When the entire country mourned the death of the Delhi gangrape victim, the 71-year-old megastar Amitabh Bachchan composed a moving poem as a tribute to her hoping that the world wakes up to the rights and dignity of women. The actor’s poem in Hindi and English said that long after the candle light vigil and floral tributes would end, "...the ‘fearless’ (nirbhayata) fire that has been ignited, shall rekindle the flames in our hearts..."
The first few lines of the poem read:
"With the passage of time, the candles shall burn out and lose their flame...
The flowers offered with devotion, shall in the absence of water, get dry and weathered out...
The voices of protest both vocal and silent, shall lose their strength...
But the ‘fearless’ (nirbhayata) fire that has been ignited, shall rekindle the flames in our hearts..."
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap took the issue of sexual harassment through a Hindi short film, That Day After Everyday, which starred Sandhya Mridul, Radhika Apte, Geetanjali Thapa and Aranya Kaur. The film, which was released online, revolved around three women who overcome a situation where eve teasing had become daily routine with no one willing to help them.
Actor Farhan Akhtar started a social campaign Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD) after being bothered by the harassment and oppression of women in India for years. The 39-year-old said, "It is an attempt to ask men to rethink what their notions of being a man is."
Celebrities such as Sachin Tendulkar and Shah Rukh Khan too supported the campaign. While Sachin supported the cause by reciting a Marathi, SRK, sported a handlebar mustache for the campaign. Farhan also expressed his anguish about the Dec 16 incident in a poem titled, What is this country I live in?
Actor Kalki Koechlin, 29, featured in a satirical video — ‘It’s your fault’, that dealt with the issue of rape in India. The video which mocks the Indian mindset blaming women for provoking rape, went viral on the internet. "We were worried that people might not get the sarcasm but they did. It’s great to see such positive response," said Kalki.