“I am a 21 year old college going female. I was sexually abused as a child by my brother, when I was in standard 3. Since then, no day has passed when I have not thought about what happened with me. The bruises still remain and remind me of the insanity of the world [people] I live in. I do not have any strength left to deal with it any longer. Maybe my biggest fault was to be born as a woman on this planet. There is no escape for me. Never was, never will be.” [Shared by a close friend]
The recently released short film, ‘Going Home’ garnered attention and praise in the country because of its concept of a Utopian world. The film directed by Vikas Bahl attempts to portray a Utopian world for the Indian women in the society.
PC- Google images
About the Movie:
Alia Bhatt in the film plays a young woman, driving back home alone, late at night. When her car breaks down in the middle of the road, the only option she has is to ask someone for help. On seeing another car full of men approaching towards her, she explains her situation and asks for help without any constraints. The film ends with the men dropping the girl home safely, where she thanks them for helping her. She then walks on…towards her house, with full confidence. The film made for the purpose of social awareness leaves us with multiple unanswered questions, the first one being…
Can we think of such a society?
PC-Google images(A still from the movie)
Highlights and Issues: Breaking the Taboos
Vikas Bahl through the role which Alia Bhatt plays, presents an independent woman who is capable enough to travel alone and does not need any ‘protector’ [knight in the shining armour] to save her ‘honour’ [izzat].
Alia Bhatt is seen wearing the kind of clothes every woman would love to wear. However, in reality, one has to think multiple times, deciding whether one should wear a short skirt, dress, crop top or any such clothes or not. The idea is to let a woman wear what she wants to wear since it is her choice to make and no one else gets to take the decision on her behalf or impose it on her. Clothes do not make a person; it is the person who does it. Also, Alia Bhatt is seen asking for help without any inhibitions. The question which we all need to ask ourselves is, “Is that even possible in the status quo?”
Which ‘reality’ should I as an Indian woman believe in? Do you think that it is easy for me to believe in the idea of the Utopian world when 3-4 women get raped on an average in every single hour? How can I simply accept the idea presented in the movie or even discuss it when I know what a big failure it is?
I have grown up amidst the happenings and the most painful and shocking kind of cases. The movie presents all men in the car to be ‘honorable men of the society’. Really? You expect me to believe what you believe in. What about the rape cases of the kindergarten going kids in Bangalore (one a 3 year old and the other a five year old)? When such monsters don’t leave innocent kids alone, how can they let go off a woman?
Being a man comes with a ‘privilege’ factor in India and that is what the director has done. He may have thought to be doing a ‘great favour’ on the society whereas he himself is unaware of the prejudices and problems women have to face every single day. The whole idea of a Utopian falls down and shatters to pieces since the very base of the argument becomes weak.
How can I be happy with what the movie showcases since I have always been told to dress properly so that I don’t attract attention? I have always been told to not go out after 7. Well, my brother has no such curfew! Is being a woman such a big mistake in this world? How can I even talk about equal rights and justice when the society I live in, eats, drinks and survives on patriarchy? What comes as a shock is the fact that women themselves have deeply internalised their inferiority and men’s superiority. They now simply act as puppets and have actually become ‘carriers’ of misogyny in the society.
The movie sent a chill down my spine and the only question I kept asking myself was, “What next? What will be the next step?”
Even though I was aware of the fact that it was simply a movie, but the anxiety and fear it aroused kept me glued to the screen.
Even today, when a woman is raped it is ‘she’ who is blamed for the rape. Women end up becoming mere scapegoats in the ‘blame game’. The reason given for rape by the ‘moral upholders’ of the society is the ‘skimpy’ clothes a woman wears.
For them a woman’s clothes define her in totality along with her character… Short clothes define her as someone with a lose character!
We need to understand that it is not the clothes of a woman or her being alone at night which lead to rape but a man’s psyche which determine his monstrous actions. A man [equals a monster for me] will rape a woman, no matter what she wears, whether it is a short dress or a hijab.
Living in a parallel imaginary world?
According to National Crime of Records Bureau (NCRP), 93 women are raped everyday, in India. If this figure does not act as an eye opener then what will? PLEASE NOTE: These are only the official records on paper. What about the number of cases which go unnoticed and are not recorded on paper? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) issued a report which stated that the rape cases are at the ‘highest-ever’ level in the status quo.
These are the questions which do not let me [us] live peacefully and hence these have to be asked and raised from time to time…
Isn’t there a possibility of a Utopian world?
Is there any hope for us?
Is there any morality left, morality we all talk and romanticise about?
If yes, then when?
Even the dream which Vikas Bahl presents in the form of short film is beyond ones imagination…
What we require is a change in the mindset of people where women are no longer identified as the ‘weaker sex’ but as equal individuals.
The real world, beyond our idealism is not as good as it seems to be. IT IS SO GOOD TO BE TRUE! Don’t you think the same? We need stricter laws so that cases like these do not happen, where people think of the punishment even before they think of committing such crimes. We all know that this needs to stop. The question is when?
If we need a change in the society, then, only we can do that. We need to be the change and stop waiting for it to happen on its own.
“I am a 16 year old school going female. I was drugged and raped in one of the school’s Fest when I was 15 years old. I do not know what all to forget and how to do so. For me the world is too lazy to change and there is nothing to be done. The world is decaying at a rapid pace and will be dead even before anyone realises it.”
[Shared by an acquaintance]
Let us all pledge for a better world on Diwali! A world that is safe for everyone, regardless of one’s sex and gender.