There was an amazingly atrocious movie that came out in 2002 – Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahaani. Those who have watched this movie – I feel you! Those who haven’t – you definitely should, someday! Since it is difficult to explain the level of atrocity in the movie by narrating every single scene (the entire movie is a crap fest), I will try to give you a glimpse of the whole thing by narrating one scene which tops it all. Two bad guys in college (we have 40-year-olds playing college students) try to rape Manisha Koirala. She is saved by her fiancé, Sunny Deol who takes them to the Principal of the college. Instead of kicking them out right away and helping Manisha Koirala lodge an FIR with the police, he sends the weepy bad guys to seek her forgiveness. She is reluctant to do it when her gang of ‘friends’ come to the rescue (of the bad guys) and coax her into forgiving them. Their reasons are so out of the world that she had to relent. Reasons loosely translated to – “Seeing a beautiful girl like you, even a dead guy’s heart would beat. So imagine the condition of these young men.”, “If you don’t forgive them, we will think you have become too proud of your good looks.”, “Even God forgives one mistake.”
Wondering why I am suddenly motivated to write about this movie and this scene? Google #AuntyjiApologise and go through the videos. They are shared on a zillion Facebook profiles and pages. Now read through the comments under the videos. If you have an ounce of common sense, you will feel that Manisha Koirala’s friends were absolute gems compared to the lowlifes commenting against the victims here. If Manisha Koirala’s friends were only defending the culprits, these lowlifes have gone one step ahead and are bashing the victims for being responsible for whatever they had to go through.
For those who are too lazy to Google even now, here is what happened. A group of girls were dining at a Delhi restaurant when the now-notorious Auntyji’s sense of morality got hurt by the fact that these girls were wearing short dresses. Not only did she bash them left, right and centre, she went on to address some men who were dining there to rape them for wearing whatever they were wearing. The girls were shaken, but were not ready to let go. They confronted her in a shopping centre nearby were they kept asking her to apologise for her ghastly remarks. Other women who learned of what happened joined in and told her she had no right to make such pathetic remarks and that she should apologise if she didn’t want the girls to call the police for her statements instigating rape. But the brave Auntyji was in no mood to apologise. Instead she faced the camera and very happily asked viewers to spread awareness that women like these girls who wear short dresses just want people to see everything and get raped. That was her bit of public service I suppose, for the sake of women empowerment and shit. Days after the video went viral and a huge section of our people called her out for her insensitivity and overall assholery, she came out with a forced apology. And even in that she was quick to mention that she should have shared her opinion with the girls in private. That is, even now she does not understand that whatever shitty opinion she had should have been kept in her head and not let out to a group of strangers who never asked for her opinion or advice on what they should wear.
Now the people we are talking about are the ones (a huge number of them women, sadly) who say the following:
1) What did Auntyji do wrong? Girls these days want to display everything that should be hidden and cause crimes like rapes. She was being protective like any good mother would be.
2) Why are we making a big deal out of it? People say all kinds of things when they are angry. Even if it was tasteless, we should just let it go as harmless rant from an angry person and not judge the poor Auntyji.
3) We are hearing just one side of the argument here. Why would any Auntyji go and say these things for no reason to some girls? Moreover, we haven’t even seen what these girls were wearing. So how can we know for sure that she was wrong?
4) There is a dress that is appropriate for every occasion. And if you wear short dresses out in public, you should be ready to hear comments about it and not cry about it later. You are asking for it.
5) The girls should have considered the Auntyji’s age and given the respect any elder person deserves. It was not right of them to bully her like they did.
6) Poor Auntyji has apologised. Can we please let this go now and not blow it out of proportion?
7) If this was my mother, those girls would have been slapped and their mobile phones broken into pieces! (Supermoms apparently!)
Let me try to give you some unsolicited advice like your darling Auntyji, people. There are times when we say “agree to disagree” is the best path to be taken when someone gives an opinion different from yours. But for that to apply, these opinions should not be personal attacks and judgements on how someone else should live his or her life. You give your opinion on current affairs, politics, global warming, the rodent infestation in your city, even movies like Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahaani. But you do not give your opinion on what others prefer to wear, what they prefer to eat, who they prefer to have sex with and just about anything that has to do with their personal preferences. When you think you are entitled to have an opinion about anything and anyone and also go out brandishing your moral sword at people, you are a disgrace to human kind. And when you bring out justifications for your actions or the actions of other disgraceful beings like you, you become more of a disgrace to human kind.
So listen, we don’t need to see what the girls were wearing as proof of their ‘innocence’. It’s their goddamn right to wear what they want. And even if they were stark naked in a public place, what your dear Auntyji should have done was call the police and report public nuisance, not yell at them and ask men sitting nearby to rape them. You talk about how the girls disrespected an elderly person by confronting her the way they did. But you fail to acknowledge the fact that respect is not something that should be dished out based on age. As rightly pointed out by another woman on video, who witnessed the entire debacle, the girls were being nice by not deciding to slap her for asking men to rape them. That was the least respect this lady deserved. You want to know why we are making a big deal out of it despite her forced and delayed apology that means nothing? Because it is people like her and you who normalise the scariest crime any woman can imagine – rape. You are the reason a lot of people in our country think it is okay to rape women because they are loose. And it is because of this normalisation of rape by you scumbags that even days-old infants and 80-year-old women get raped and murdered. The rapists are seldom caught; and if they are, they walk out of prison in such a short period, with blessings and rewards to restart their lives. Then they go out, rape and murder the next victim they can find. All because they know there are people like you who will shame the victims and talk about how they asked for it! As for the people who are talking about their Supermoms who would have slapped the girls and broken their mobile phones, I pity you and your Supermoms!