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The Rap Against Rape: Why Are We Known As “The Land Of Rapes”?

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By Abhishek Jha:

With close to half a million views, the video by the BomBaebs duo- Uppekha Jain and Pankhuri Awasthi- is a viral phenomenon. Instead of just highlighting rape as a problem, their Rap Against Rape asks us to examine our society to understand why rape happens. Interestingly, these causal agents appear to be some of the common innocuous things we all participate in, in our daily life. Thus they question our notion of an ideal girlfriend and wife, our disgust of menstruation, and the “kanya puja” favour for which people go to their neighbours.

However, it is not without its problematic aspects. For instance, it is right that “a girl who has been raped “need not” hide her face”. But in the same breath, it seems to suggest that it is wrong for a porn star to achieve celebrity status. A lot of people might derive the conclusion that while a girl who is a rape survivor should be allowed a normal life, probably it is the porn stars who need to be shamed. That would be a wrong conclusion to make. Saying that rapists’ “dick should be split” also immediately reminds us of the Nagaland lynching and what must not be done in response to crimes or alleged crimes.

Watch and tweet to me @abhi5285 if you agree, or even if you disagree with their views?

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  1. Ritesh Anan

    1) Seriously YKA ? An article on a video that is 2 weeks old …already has been covered by what you call “Mainstream” media [http://www.firstpost.com/living/two-mumbai-women-rap-rape-repetitive-reiteration-angry-rant-2159895.html], which dubbed it “Repetitive reiteration or angry rant?”???

    2) Be clear > “it seems to suggest that it is wrong for a porn star to achieve celebrity status” >> It is a pun on the SOCIETY that whereas it makes a porn star a celebrity, it ‘routinely’ shames a rape victim.

    3) Although I believe that we as a society need more sensitivity towards rape, here are a few things about the video that the Firstpost author points out –

    “If you really sit back and think about it, the video comes across as a well-intentioned, yet recycled cry for attention. The repetitive and underwhelming nature of the video isn’t just restricted to their monochromatic clothes.”

    “”If they had a real concern about this issue, they would have made the video in Hindi, because most rapists are illiterate,” said one comment.”

    “These are issues the nation already knows about. So before we laud them for “breaking the silence” (a TV epithet given to the duo) we need to address the bigger elephant in the room. If we’re going to only ask everybody to stand up, who actually does the standing up? Does this video classify as another drop in the ocean of mere protests? Is rape the new viral sensation?”

  2. bharat sharma

    rly u both r awsm “hts of to u both”

  3. ItsJustMe

    Why India is called land of rapes?
    Firstly wh is calling India land of rapes – The Indian media called it that first, they called Delhi the rape capital of the world. No other country or person is to blame for that
    Are we really the land of rapes? India is 4th among the countries of the world as far as number of rapes go. But we are also the second most populous country in the world. To understand this, Kerala a small state in South India, has as many people living there as Australia, so it can logically have as many crimes reported as Australia too. We have to look at rape rate per say 100 people or 100000 people to truly understand how frequent rape is.

    Adjusted for population growth over time, the annual rape rate in India has increased from 1.9 to 2.0 per 100,000 people over 2008-2012 period. This compares to a reported rape rate of 24.1 per 100,000 in United Kingdom, 28.6 per 100,000 in United States, 66.5 per 100,000 in Sweden, and world’s highest rate of 114.9 rapes per 100,000 in South Africa.

    Yes rapes may be under reported. So lets consider a 200% increase to the figure mentioned above. That should make it
    8 out 100000 people who are raped in India. 28.6 people in 100000 are raped in USA. That means almost 3 times as many woman are raped in USA compared to India per 100000 people. Somehow due to our own ignorance now India is the rape capital. I do not know how this could happen, and how a society can loose its self respect like this.

    1. Jigsaw

      India is called rape capital due to US propaganda, which wants to malign the image of developing countries and come across as superior. In reality, India is the capital of false rape cases.

    2. ItsJustMe

      @Jigsaw may be, may be not, another thing that worries me is, when women in India say they cannot go out at night or wear short clothes because the society looks at them as loose ladies. Men stare at them, afraid of being raped and total BS like that. Women in USA, UK etc do not care what society think, or they dont mind if men stare at them, they either ignore them or those who like that attention even smiles and winks back. These women do not need protection to go out, they are strong enough to defend themselves and if they get harmed they move on, they may protest or pass legislation to protect women, but they never blame men and society for their lack of freedom. These are strong woman who knows how to reach out and take their freedom. No one needs to give it to them. Our woman are just weak shit heads who think it is the society’s duty to protect them, approve of whatever bullshit they want to do and make them feel secure. If men who get mugged or beaten up go by the same logic it will be a funny world to live in

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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