There are a lot of things that go unnoticed within our patriarchal country — sexual abuse is one of them. Consent has been a matter of debate since ages, and the movie Devi, in a very discrete way, has pulled out this little story from our reality.
As we open ourselves in this one room, choked to its capacity with one outcast group—they are not related at all, neither by blood nor otherwise. Yet, together by the religion of being themselves, one thing that binds all women together is the umbilical cord of rape.
They do not know where they’ve come from. But they know that they were no longer welcome anywhere else except that one room, and as they debate upon whether they can accommodate more, the reality of our society unravels in the plot inch by inch in stories that can give you goosebumps like never before.
But, what they all share in common is not just the idea of vandalism, but also the idea of consent, which was nearly never in option. As Neena Kulkarni aka Maushi agitatedly places the debate of who gets to leave, she chooses the degree by which the judgement is to close.
As per the report of National Crime Record Bureau, as many as 32,559 rapes were reported in India in 2017, and in 93.1% of these cases, the accused was known to the victim. That’s exactly what Maushi in a lost voice stated : “An idea of marital rape which doesn’t even exist in India”. This is not only because the protection of women rights is a lost concern in the country, but also because patriarchy, instilled in the magnums of our society, holds superiority and its magnitude can never stand on a balance.
This is because as per the supposed order of moral grounds, marital rape can destabilise the institution of marriage — hence as far as the who is your husband, it sadly isn’t rape. Though fortunately, at least girls below 15 years of age happen to be under the protection of the Indian Penal Code, or so we may hope.
This is what defines the story of the life of every woman who is a sitting potato led into the hands of crime on her own discourse. While this wasn’t enough, the story of Devi is lapped in the degree of atrocities one faces, and that’s when hell breaks loose.
Devi is a speaking tale of how India is a dangerous place for women. From eight-months old babies to a 100-year-old women, no one has been spared, but that doesn’t change the reality. The rape culture in India is such where girls are told how to dress to avoid inviting trouble, generalising the male predatory behaviour that resides in the country; and that’s what this short film has knocked upon.
As the ringing bell was answered by Jyoti, played by Kajol, it broke my heart. It taught me that this isn’t something I’ve invited as a woman; this is something that needs ultimate alteration — a change in the mindset of the men — because these nine women are not at fault for being raped, assaulted or burnt alive, and neither are we. It’s only the men who believe it’s okay.
This Women’s Day, try gifting us the freedom to be us – without restrictions or the fear of being a prey to the predatory mindset of the men who feel, it is okay.
Trust me, it’s not okay anymore. Not to us.
If you still haven’t watched it, watch it now.