Karan Razdan, whose Mittal Vs Mittal opens today, decodes the Domestic Violence Act 2005.
Do marital rapes happen in India?
Most happen in India. Ours has been a male-dominated society for centuries. Such cases could not be fought till the Domestic Violence Act 2005 was implemented on March 8, 2010. Now a wife can move court if her husband forces her to have sex against her will. Sex without mutual consent is a crime, so is forcibly showing porn to your wife, according to the act.
Who came up with the idea of a movie?
It was my idea. In 2004, while travelling abroad, I read about it in a magazine. Back in India, advocate Mridula Kadam, a respected family court lawyer, enlightened me about such cases and the law. I contacted NGOs and met women who had been through the trauma. She was my consultant on the script. I expect more women to come out once the film releases. Our public awareness sites will encourage them to write to us and we will guide them to NGOs.
Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), an organisation for harassed husbands, may protest.
I’m aware of SIFF, their issues are real. Maybe I can work on a sequel with them. Sex has always been an important part of your films?
Sex was not an issue in Umar, Eight or even my unreleased first film, Roshni. Nor is it an issue in my forthcoming films, Mr Bhatti On Chutti or Aagaah. The films I’ve written like Dilwale, Diljale, or Qayaamat did not highlight sex either. I don’t write double-meaning sex comedies, I only write about real issues.
Didn’t your lead actors, Rituparna Sengupta and Rohit Roy, have any issues during shooting?
They believed in the script and the issues it raised. I remember Ritu telling Rohit: “If you are not real in the rape scenes, my pain will not be real.” I had to use my conscience and skill as a filmmaker in deciding how far to go.