As India debates gang rapes, a new video wags a satirical finger at women
As India grapples with rash of high-profile rapes, crimes that have tarnished the country's image abroad, a Bollywood actress's new video that offers women sage advice about what provocative clothing they should avoid.
The video goes on to show a string of outfits including a black burqa and a spacesuit.
The satirical video, called “It’s your fault," lampoons some of the comments made during the past months, since the gang-rape of a student in Delhi last December stoked international condemnation.
“Scientific studies suggest that women who wear skirts are the leading cause of rape. Do you know why? Because men have eyes,” Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin says in the four-minute video, which has been viewed more than 1 million times and received more than 4,000 comments since it was published on YouTube on September 19.
Politicians and outspoken public figures have sparked anger for a series of controversial comments after the December rape.
Last month, for instance, Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh suggested residents must choose either a “promiscuous culture” that allows public kissing, or a city made safe by “moral policing.”
Singh's comments came after a 22-year-old photographer was gang-raped last month in Mumbai.
“If you are tired of being humiliated by rape, you can always go to the cops and be humiliated by them instead," Koechlin says on the video.
The video ends with various women looking into the camera and saying “it’s my fault."
Rick Westhead is a foreign affairs writer at The Star. He was based in India as the Star’s South Asia bureau chief from 2008 until 2011 and reports on international aid and development. Follow him on Twitter @rwesthead