Only a few days ago on the 16th of March, Pankhuri Awasthi and Uppekha Jain posted the below video on their YouTube channel.
Since being posted, the video has already had 200,000 views.
The video opens with a disclaimer:
“You don’t have to read this. It’s only a standard disclaimer. This video doesn’t have any explicit or bannable content. It’s just that the reality for women in India is explicit.”
The video goes on to ask the viewers:
“We’re now known as the land of rapes – but did you ever wonder how this took shape?”
The women rap about the “999” issues facing women in India still today. They hold up placards throughout the video with words such as #rape, #misogyny, #objectification and #domesticviolence written on them.
The women put forward very thought provoking questions to the audience. They ask why these practices are still allowed today in what is arguably a very democratic country. They do this by questioning why a girl who has been raped feels she must hide her face, when the society she lives in glamorizes porn stars.
Pankhuri and Uppekha acknowledge the double standards for women that still exist within India today.
“If I walk home at night I’m seen as irresponsible and lame. But if I’m seen with a man to my family I have brought shame.”
The rap, however, ends on a very positive note. It does this by suggesting that positive change is still possible for women if everyone works together to empower one another:
“Gone are the times we stayed abused and broken. And behind closed doors we cried. It’s about time to change the tide and for you to get on our side. Help us bring in a new day – for you, for me, for us.”
The rap comes just days after a 71-year-old nun was allegedly gang raped in India. The nun was raped when she tried to prevent a group of men from robbing a Christian missionary school in eastern India. The nun was hospitalized and in serious condition. However, she is now believed to be in a stable condition.
This comes just after the release of India’s Daughter, a documentary film about the trauma of rape and the murder of a bright young women against a belief embedded in the skeleton of society that it is women who invite what is done to them. This film was made because of the heinous rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, a woman who broke social rules to find valuable education.
India’s Daughter and #RapAgainstRape are both very political as they expose how violence against women is structurally maintained by the Indian government and its institutions.
We can only hope that people continue to bring these issues to light to help correct and fix the terrible violence that is inflicted against women, which is deeply embedded still in many cultures today.
In the words of Pankhuri and Uppekha; “Let’s carve the way."
Nina is in her Honours year at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow studying History. She loves keeping fit and healthy at the gym and singing to her hearts content. Because of Nina's love of all things history related, she has a passion for reading, writing and researching. Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for an online magazine for female students at Strathclyde called Her Campus Strath and wants to continue her passion for writing after graduation.