Woken up with a jolt, Chennai’s usual tranquillity got disrupted upon hearing of an 11-year-old girl’s ordeal recently. The survivor endured months of rape, torture, physical and mental violence, and was forced to remain quiet until it took a toll on her mental well-being and body. The names of as many as 22 men have been included in the violence against her. Amidst a lot of anger and outrage, many wonder why people refuse to evolve or even try to have a smidgen of humanity in them. Wondering why rape is still an epidemic that many women, children, LGBTQ persons, and men endure, a sexual violence that remains etched forever.
Dubbed as ‘Chennai Horror’, the case came to light right on the heels of a certain “compliment” made by a filmmaker. Mysskin, at the audio launch of director Ram’s film Peranbu starring Mammootty, praised the actor’s body of work. However, he alluded rape to a compliment. “Had I been a girl, I would’ve raped him,” he says, without a flinch, and his “joke” being met with applause.
When did rape become a joke? When did the whole agony and torture of being sexually violated get reduced to humour or even a form of admiration?