Marital rape, a subject that is taboo in discussions even in the modern age. Shocking we don’t have a law on this. And politicians just love ignoring this, making the resolve to get in even higher. With the recent cases in the country dealing with rape, it sure is being talked about- but marital rape is a topic that is swept under the carpet. The institution of marriage and its vows are paramount, but sadly the treatment of a woman as an object and the fact that consent is always required ( be it in any relationship) is a concept that modern India is finding difficult to grasp, no matter how forward their thoughts are.
The new sketch from the girls at TVF, Girlyapaa hits this problem right in its face with “How I Raped You Mother”, a parody of the popular series, ” How I Met Your Mother”. While the original is based on love and its many facets told through a group of close knit friends, the Girlyapaa team revolves around a wife Devika who is raped by her husband Arun. And in typical Indian fashion, the entire family gathers in the living room to discuss , while favoring the jamai raja!
In the recent past, there have been ad campaigns which have stressed on other taboo subjects such as domestic violence, marital abuse, child abuse in family environments – what separates the Girlyapaa video is its edgy humour approach where in you wait for the a heartbreaking celebrity message in the end, but alas. The sketch which has a laughter track deliberately to stress its TV show like drama helps in driving the point straight home.
The video has all the members cast perfect- the creepy chacha to the ever so doormat-ish mother in law, it’s really a game of tu-tu-main-main that calls rape as “Intense Love-Making”. The blatant denial that the daughter is actually getting raped by her husband is captured ever so aptly in the grandmother’s dialogue, ” If I had given a crap about consent, none of your 25 aunts would have been born!”.
A 2014 study by the International Centre for Women and United Nations Population fund indicated that only about 2.3% of sexual violences in marriages are reported. Also recently, the updated version of the National Policy for Women bill by the Women and Child development Ministry was unveiled on 18th May which wants to strongly “eliminate” all violence and discrimination against women, but fails to accept the reality of marital rape and counter it. Maybe these few minutes can serve as a reference point for hard hitting discussions and Menaka Gandhi can review her stance?
The fact that a bold video like this gets made in our time without it having been taken down/banned in itself is a great achievement, but I guarantee- one look at the this typical great Indian family will make you cringe and analyse- is this the environment that I want to live in?