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Bengali star Dev and the Rape Joke #Vaw

Rituparna Chatterjee,IBNLive.com
Mar 24, 2014 at 09:10pm IST

Bengali superstar and Trinamool’s candidate from the Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency Dev Adhikari said his busy political campaign and the media focus on it felt like “getting raped”. He elaborated in an interview with the Bengali daily ‘Ebela‘, “it’s like getting raped yaar, you can shout or you can enjoy”.

The controversial comments came as the popular actor was asked if he was enjoying campaigning. It’s unclear what sparked the strange analogy but Dev, who said he was completely unprepared for politics but would give it his 200 per cent, sent shock waves across West Bengal‘s political parties.

The comment has sparked massive outrage on social media and women’s advocacy groups have condemned it unanimously. Dev isn’t the first prominent person to shoot his mouth off and neither will he be the last. But what’s shocking is the rest of the interview follows smoothly with the actor touching on various subjects – his ambition, the apprehension of his parents and his commentary on the state of youths.

Bengali star Trinamool candidate Dev reminds us why rape jokes are always inappropriate and why we won't 'lighten up'

Actually, Dev is to be thanked for reminding us once again why rape jokes should always be condemned unequivocally.

It’s a classic dilemma media often faces. Do you interrupt (and risk alienating) the person you are interviewing to counter an atrocious claim or do you reproduce faithfully, without self censoring a comment that can cause damage not only to his reputation but more importantly to a large section of society that will likely get affected by what he says.

Ironically, Dev said he wants to inspire an entire generation of youths that does not vote. Most of them are fans of his work in Bengali cinema. His female support base is not unsubstantial. As a first time politician his naiveté can be attributed to nervousness. But as a cinema star accustomed to speaking in public and as a human being living in times of horrendous crimes against women, the slip is unforgivable.

Actually, Dev is to be thanked for reminding us once again why rape jokes should always be condemned unequivocally. Often we forget in our rush to update our social media pages, or to seek validation from our peer, that every word we say has the potency to hurt at least one person directly affected by what we say. I have encountered at least one user on Twitter who has asked me to ‘lighten up’ because people don’t mean anything when they make a .

‘Work today was like getting raped.’ ‘I got raped in the exam today.’ It’s all good till you actually imagine the mother who has lost her daughter to gangrape and torture. Not funny anymore, is it?

Here’s why we need to protest every time someone makes a rape joke around us.

It’s offensive to victims.

– Each time you let it pass, someone else will automatically assume that it’s all right to use rape analogy while clowning around.

– If the backlash is strong each time, people will eventually hesitate to make such jokes.

– Anything that has the potential to hurt someone isn’t a joke.

Since the comment hit the headlines, Dev has apologised on Twitter for his gaffe. It’s human to make errors, especially unwittingly. Let’s hope Dev learns from his.

 

Read mor ehere — http://ibnlive.in.com/news/bengali-star-trinamool-candidate-dev-reminds-us-why-rape-jokes-are-always-inappropriate-and-why-we-wont-lighten-up/460019-37-64.html

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