Known for her films Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin has joined forces with TV presenter Juhi Pandey for the video AIB365: It’s Your Fault.
The video has gained more than a million views since its release last week and for good reason. Created by All India Bak (AIB), a group of stand-up comedians including Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba and Ashish Shakya, this short is a brilliantly done satire on rape and the blame that is often placed on women. The video was made in response to the high levels of violence against women in India and the misconceptions over who is at fault.
The video begins with Koechlin saying, “Ladies, do you think rape is something men do out of a desire for control, empowered by years of patriarchy? You’ve clearly been misled by the notion that women are people too. Because let’s face it, rape is your fault.”
If the satiric tone is not yet obvious, Koechlin goes on to say, “Scientific studies suggest that women who wear skirts are the leading cause of rape. Do you know why? Because men have eyes.”
The video continues by showing various articles of clothing which are unacceptable for women to wear, from skirts to a fully-covered astronaut suit. The video points out that women are to blame for rape regardless of what they wear simply because they are women.
The video then takes a more serious turn. The women appear with visible injuries that we are to assume come from male rapists. Viewers are now haunted as a bruised Pandey points out that if a man is your husband, forcing sex is on you is not considered rape. All this is said while a man’s hand aggressively smears lipstick off her face. Chilling? You bet.
Largely because some of the viewers have misunderstood the satiric element, the video has gained some mixed reviews. Understood correctly or not, it has done its job. The video has facilitated conversation and has pulled attention to an issue that deserves to be continuously addressed.
“Yes, this video will only reach the English-speaking, ‘sarcasm-understanding’ young person,” Pandey tells reporters, “but at least it’s out there. It’s a drop in the ocean, but it is still a drop and I am glad to be have been a part of it.”