This Documentary About Men Falsely Accused Of Rape Could Be Interesting But We Hope It Doesn’t Take Away From The Real Victim’s Stories
It’s been seven years since the Nirbhaya incident shook the country. I can tell you, and I speak for all women here, that irrespective of how many years pass, it will never erase itself from our minds. India is one of the most unsafe countries for women and has been for very long. Too long, almost. Post the outrage that followed the crime, the Indian Government made rape laws strict and established fast track courts for rape trials. At that time, it was the need of the hour. However, the trailer of India’s Sons, has come out and it talks about the men who were falsely accused for rape. Apparently, the testimony of the woman is enough to get the accused arrested and the trial occurs later. The documentary talks about protecting India’s sons as we are protecting India’s daughters.
Now, I have empathy for the men who got false accused. I genuinely do. If it happened to a member of my family, I too would be out on the streets, moving the court, and demanding justice! But honestly, I feel conflicted about this documentary. I agree that we need justice for the men who are innocent, and suffer because of false accusations. But we live in a society that is strongly patriarchal. And since the longest time (and even today) rapists walk out freely, because the woman couldn’t prove the rape. How do you even expect the woman who has gone through the unimaginable trauma to be mentally alert at that point? Or be emotionally in a condition to appear for physical examination? At this point, the burden of evidence is not on women to prove they were raped. The accused has to prove that he is innocent. If there has been a murder, and there are two eye-witnesses, the burden of proof would come on the accused, right? So this is not unfair.
Watch it here:
In 2016, the NCRB data revealed that 2,60,304 cases of crimes against women were sent for trial in courts. Today, we are not even half way through making India a safer place for women and I feel the trailer isn’t helping. The trailer is talking about how women accuse men falsely to extort money, to take revenge, or when promises of marriage fall out. Are you saying a majority of women are doing that? Some women? I am afraid it will give out the impression that this is more common than true cases of rape. When it’s such a delicate subject, the responsibility on the maker is huge. And I don’t feel it is handled sensitively, at least from the trailer. Sure, it makes a strong case for innocent men. But it can threaten the progress we have made for securing our women.
I don’t know if I am being oversensitive or what but when the filmmaker said, “A false rape charge is the most devastating thing that can happen to an innocent person and there are thousands of such cases that are happening every year in India,” I felt like hey, no! An actual rape is devastating too. The women who are waiting for justice are innocent too and didn’t deserve any of the things that happened to them. And there are not thousands, but many more such cases in India. The ratio of true to false is skewed away from the victim.
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Though, Delhi Commission came up with the statistic that 53% of the cases reported in 2016 were proved false, we don’t know under what circumstances. Were the women threatened to take the case back? Was the rapist too powerful and could meddle with the evidence? How many genuine cases actually got reported? This doesn’t prove anything.
I want innocent men to be protected too, and I hope the Indian legal system will find a way to do that without hampering the growth we’ve made for women. As for this documentary, the trailer seems half-baked and based on emotion, instead of statistics. And to anyone who watches it, I hope they understand that this shouldn’t make you doubt the integrity of the several women waiting for justice to be delivered in their cases.