“Rape Compounded” asks some inconvenient questions and dispels some long-existing myths.
An ultimate violation of self, rape is the only crime in which victim becomes the accused. We hardly see any meaningful take on the subject in the mainstream media despite the fact that a large number of rape cases go unreported in the country. Even when the government agencies are involved, cases of sexual assault go unreported. The recent Shopian incident is a case in point.
Now director Lavlin Thadani has come up with a documentary on the subject. Called “Rape Compounded”, the film conveys the trauma that a victim undergoes through a real victim.
Then Thadani, who has taken four years to come up with the well-researched documentary, has used mime artistes to bring out the pain effectively. “In India most of the rape cases go unreported and a few courageous women who report end up facing the trauma of ostracism, abuse at police station and more often than not humiliating proceedings in the court. Thereby, the rape is compounded many fold,” says Thadani, who is passionate about socially relevant issues. She says rape betrays the word ‘trust’. “More often than not, the victim is known to the man and has been won over by his superficial civil behaviour.”
What is in the mind?
The film exposes the mind of a rapist through interviews with rape convicts at Tihar jail. One of them, who is himself the father of a girl, considers only gang-rape as rape. There is a case where a person has criminally assaulted his daughter and then there is one where a person assaulted a lady of the age of his grandmother. With the help of doctors, Thadani has tried to bring out the mental and social behaviour of such people. She says she wants to penetrate blocked minds with insensitive attitudes.
Thadani has also explored the thoughts of a cross-section of society on the issue. From a rickshaw puller to Kiran Bedi, everybody has got a chance to air his or views. There are students, office executives, bus passengers and then there are people like Sushma Swaraj and Renuka Choudhary, who have a say in the top echelons of our system.
Girija Vyas has given a touching example where the mother of a medical student came to her after her daughter’s performance in academics suddenly dropped. She discovered that the girl used to travel by bus, where she was teased every day. Such was the mental trauma that she used to take bath every hour to feel ‘clean’.
The film also looks into solutions and precautions and questions the seven year punishment prescribed by the law. “We need to figure out where we are collectively going wrong,” says Thadani.