Actress Vinodhini best known for her roles in Engeyum Eppothum and recently Vijay Sethupathi’s Aandavan Kattalai where she played the role of a lawyer has asked a pertinent question on how rape cases are handled in India.
She took to her Facebook page to post the following:
Yesterday I read a piece of news that some country is granting pardon to rapists if they marry their victims.
But we in India are way ahead. Most films from 80’s and 90’s propagate marriage between the rape victim and the rapist as the perfect solution all round.
Not just rape, but the hero’s slap is enough to make the heroine fall in love with him, his public shaming of her will make her realise her headstrong ways and become demure enough to suit her petite frame, that can then be encased in tight Indian clothes (because tight western clothes are the actual problem), stalking her will ensure she realises the love of the stalker and if he ends up raping her or forcibly tying a thaali around her neck, she will accept the consequences and battle him and the rest of the world to stay with him. Fine.
Now my point is, most of the lead actors (pan-India, male and female) who acted in all these films, signed these film contracts consciously, knowing the full story including dialogues (unlike the hapless character actors like yours truly), and they all have vaarisu-s (as we prefer to call them) aka kids.
At least, most do. These kids living in the poshest of posh localities in the metros, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad – are all at the cutting edge of “culture” today with their international schooling backgrounds, perfectly toned bodies that have enjoyed privilege from birth, happening social lives and freedom to pursue interests of their choice.
A sharp contrast to the millions of middle-class retrogrades in the Aandipattis and Arasampattis of India that have been fed on a constant diet of regressive shit that has ended up defining what their ideas of honour and culture are.
So, do we blame the rapist or the victim who marries him?