Smalltime filmmaker Daniel Shravan uploaded an appalling Facebook post in which he blamed victims, perpetuated rape culture, and was just an overall jerk.
Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault
India has long been considered the most dangerous country for women, with reports of vile sexual assaults coming out of the Asian nation almost every day. Recently, a vet named Priyanka Reddy was violently assaulted and murdered, sparking national discourse and agitation about the safety of women in India. Amidst the outrage, one smalltime filmmaker is making headlines for his outrageous statements about how to prevent rape. Daniel Shravan, in a now-deleted post, argued that rape should be legalized and, even more shockingly, women should simply "cooperate" if a sexual assaulter were to confront them. He went so far as to state that they should carry condoms, "just in case," The Hindu reports.
Shravan wrote in his viral but problematic post, "Murder is a sin and a crime. Rape is a corrective punishment. No justice is going to happen with Nirbhaya Act... The agenda of rape is fulfilling the sexual needs of rapists based on that time or mood." The Nirbhaya Act, named after a revolutionary rape case that occurred in 2012, is an Indian law that sought to tighten rules and regulations related to sexual assault offenses. Then, he went on to suggest that rape should be rationalized, stating that "rapes without violence" should be legalized by the government. He added, "Instead of dialing 100, carry condoms with you... Women's safety is only possible through condoms not through the Nirbhaya Act." 100 is the national distress line.
Needless to say, the post did not go unnoticed. Several women's rights activists and organizations have since responded to his egregious "suggestions." Many took to social media platform Twitter to voice their opinions. Journalist Rituparna Chatterjee posted, "Why hasn’t [the government] arrested Daniel Shravan yet? That man is a danger to women. His post called for rape as punishment for women. It asks women to cooperate with rapists to avoid getting killed. This sick man shouldn’t be allowed near women and children." The official Me Too India page, too, called for his arrest. The page stated, "He is advocating rape as punishment for women. What will it take to make women feel safe? How many men will be let off? This is [a] call to book Daniel Shravan for his comments inciting violence against women." Political analyst Gaurav Pandhi added, "Who is this sick man? He wants rapes to be legalized? This is the most outrageous stuff I have read in a while. He is a potential rapist and roaming around freely, he is dangerous for women."
The filmmaker, failing to field the backlash he received, simply deleted his posts. He is yet to come forward with an apology or response for his disgusting statements. At a time when women remain afraid for their lives, Shravan has unearthed the underbelly of rape culture in India, where victim-blaming lies at the heart of all sexual assault. It is time to stop blaming victims, mostly women, for being victims. It is time to stop perpetuating the false claim that behaving in a certain way will help them prevent rape. It is time for perpetrators of sexual assault to be brought to justice. As India continues to let rapists go scot-free for their crimes, it is despicable men like Shravan who create an environment of fear for women everywhere.