‘Slut’ And ‘Randi’: What Singer Sona Mohapatra Got For Standing Up To Salman Khan

Posted on June 24, 2016 in Sexism And Patriarchy, Society

By YKA Staff:

“I used to feel like a raped woman. I couldn’t walk straight.” Salman Khan was recently quoted saying this in an interview with entertainment portal Spotboye, comparing how physically demanding his shoot for upcoming film ‘Sultan’ is to how a “raped woman” feels. Enough people have already made it clear that his statement is horrific and utterly irresponsible, especially coming from one of India’s biggest superstars and ‘idols’.

But Bollywood has remained eerily silent on the issue.

In our society, we hear about incidents of sexual violence so much, we read about them every day in the papers, and more often than not, many of us don’t even give a second thought before referring to it casually. It’s shameful. And whether we accept it or not, rape culture is a disturbing reality of our times, and it makes itself visible in everyday instances, such as Salman’s flippant comment. As Cake writer Shambhavi explains: “It’s the culture that blames the survivor, and brushes things off with “boys will be boys.” And what does rape culture mean for the people who willingly, often self-righteously, perpetuate it? It means a grand Hall Pass to do and say what you want, to whom you want, with impunity. And make no mistake, as sorry as he may be for making that comment, Khan enjoys that impunity.”

Yet, not one ‘star’ called Salman out. Until one did.

And this is the response singer Sona Mohapatra got.

A simple breakdown of how we react when someone stands up against a powerful celeb that millions ‘idolise’:

Hundreds of such tweets have been sent to Sona Mohapatra in the last 3 days. But Sona wasn’t one to be silenced. She responded – and she responded fabulously.

Web - Sona 1

Web - Sona 2Web - Sona 3 (1)

Read her entire Facebook post here where she also talks about how incidents like the recent rape of a 21-year-old in Bihar, and how activist Soni Sori’s ‘fast until death’ in Chhattisgarh are going unnoticed by mainstream media. Sori started her protest after she was stopped from visiting the village of a tribal girl who was allegedly raped and killed by policemen. To this, Sona correctly said, “No glamour there, I suppose.”

Here are a few other tweets from Sona that show how this is a fight she won’t give up.

Even a Facebook page dedicated to Salman Khan (that posts the same photo of ‘Bhai’ every day – for real) knew that blind Bhai worship is not the way forward here. He must be called out.

The debate doesn’t end here, does it? There are so many questions to be thought about. What if someone else had made the same remark that Salman did? Maybe a lesser known or less popular celebrity? Would Sona Mohapatra have been applauded then for taking a ‘bold stand’? Also, I safely assume that the hundreds who have trolled Sona actually don’t think that rape is ever okay. I am sure that many understand how horrid it is as well to refer to it casually. Yet, when it comes to someone they “love”, the attention from the cause completely disappears. It becomes about Sona and Salman – not about the disturbing reality of rape culture in India.

And Bollywood, no words for you. You didn’t say shit when Salman was acquitted from jail (instead, you thanked the lord for ‘justice’), you didn’t say shit when Kangana was called a ‘whore’ and a ‘slut’ for refusing to apologise to a big male star, and now you are silent when a member of your fraternity is being trolled – for something you didn’t have the strength to stand up for. And it is you who has a huge impact on millions of young minds in the country. Where the hell is your reality check?!

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