"Doesn’t anyone give a damn about rape jokes"
Actor Kartik Aaryan has been called out for a joke about marital rape which has angered viewers.
In India it is estimated that every hour four women are raped and only one of these crimes is reported.
According to a report by Times of India, rape is ranked as the fourth-highest offence in India.
Despite this horrific act against Indian women, Bollywood continues to belittle the act of rape.
In this instance, in the trailer of Kartik Aaryan’s upcoming film, Pati Patni Aur Woh (2019), one of the dialogues has caused outrage.
Near the end of the three-minute trailer, Kartik’s character who has been attempting to find a balance between his married life and extra-marital affair says:
“Biwi se sex maang lein toh hum bikhaari. Biwi ko sex na de toh hum atyachaari. Aur kisi tarah jugaad laga ke use sex haasil kar lena toh balaatkari bi hum hai.”
(If we ask our wives for sex we are deemed beggars. If we do not get intimate with them then we are the ones who are being unjust. And if somehow, we do manage to get close to our wives, then we are the ones who are rapists.)
Upon watching the trailer, viewers took to Twitter to voice their anger at Kartik’s dialogue.
No Bollywood you do not get to normalize marital rape !! And to think a man wrote these words & a male star spoke these words in order to elicit laughter from the crowd !! Marital rape is NOT A LAUGHING MATTER. Ridiculous & Shameful. #PatiPatniAurWoh https://t.co/YbeOr2jIRy
— Harneet Singh (@Harneetsin) November 4, 2019
We are moving backward with such terrible movies. Not only is marital rape ridiculed here, there is practically nothing witty or sensible in this trailer!https://t.co/RGU013gkgX
— Revati Deshpande (@Revati_24) November 4, 2019
Mudassir Aziz’s Pati Patni Aur Woh is the remake of the 1978 film of the same name. The film also stars Bhumi Pednekar and Ananya Panday.
A Deccan Chronicle journalist took to Twitter to condemn Bhumi and Ananya for not speaking against this issue when the film was being made. The journalist commented saying:
“I don’t have any hopes from Kartik Aaryan, but what about the women who act in these films?
“Why can’t they say anything to the director or scriptwriter? Why doesn’t anyone give a damn about rape jokes in this country?”
It is expected that a matter as sensitive as rape would not be utilised to produce a few laughs by the industry as influential as Bollywood.
Yet, according to Bhumi Pednekar, the film is not problematic. She said:
“When I read the script, all the doubt that I had simply vanished. This film has lots of fun but, at the same time, it is not frivolous. The story is very empowering to both genders.”
In India, marital rape is not considered a criminal offence, however, directors and writers should be sensible in this matter.
Kartik Aaryan is not the only actor to have jokingly trivialised rape.
In 2016, Salman Khan described how playing the role of a wrestler was like being a raped woman for the film Sultan (2016). He said:
“During those six hours of shooting, there had been so much lifting and thrusting on the ground involved. That is the most difficult thing.
“When I used to walk out of that ring, it used to be like a raped woman walking out.”
This type of mindless jokes concerning rape by the likes of Kartik Aaryan, Salman Khan and more need to come to an end.