“Tera peecha naa chodo soniye bhej de chahe jail mein’,’ this is an old Bollywood song that loosely translates to "I will keep following you even if I am sent to prison".
"What does art do, what does cinema do? It subliminally goes into our consciousness. And when you reinforce the fact that stalking is ok, and that a no means a yes, you are dis-empowering the woman." - Nandita Das, Filmmaker
Nandita Das believes that Bollywood should be more reflective and self conscious while making movies because Indians take movies very seriously.
"In movies, we see men following women even when the woman has said no multiple times. The man sings and dances, slaps her a couple of times and then everything is ok. Such depiction is extremely problematic." - Namita Bhandare, Senior journalist
Since stalking is usually the first step towards a larger crime, The Quint has kickstarted a campaign, called #TalkingStalking, in a bid to break the silence around it.
Make Stalking a Non-Bailable Offence
Do you know that stalking is a bailable offence under Indian criminal law? This allows stalkers to get bail without serious scrutiny, often putting victims at risk of facing acid attacks, rapes and sometimes even murder.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau:
- An estimated 6,266 cases of stalking were reported in 2015, up from 4,699 in 2014.
- In 2014, 85 percent of the accused in stalking cases were given bail before the investigation ended.
- In 2015, 83 percent of the accused in stalking cases were given bail before the investigation ended.
- 60 percent of all accused were men between 18-30 years of age, while 2 percent were juveniles between 16-18 years of age.
This is why The Quint has launched a petition along with Varnika Kundu and Dr Shashi Tharoor to appeal to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to make stalking a non-bailable offence. Sign our petition here.
If you are being stalked or know someone who is being stalked, do reach out to us. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in a message at +91 9999008335.
Let’s break the silence together.
Cameraperson: Athar Rather
Reporter: Nishtha Gautam
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