Opinion

What does the conviction of Peepli Live filmmaker Mahmood Farooqui in a rape case convey?




The conviction of filmmaker Mahmood Farooqui involved in raping an American researcher has led to a furore. The unfortunate incident has confirmed that rape in India is not class related ideology. It is one of the prominent cases where a prominent personality has been convicted and punished for a heinous crime.

Well-known Bollywood filmmaker Mahmood Farooqui who had co-directed the famous satire Peepli Live in 2010, has been convicted of raping an American researcher. On Saturday, a New Delhi trial court found Farooqui,¬†guilty of raping the 35-year-old woman in the nation’s first conviction for sex rape. Farooqui will have to serve the jail term of seven years.

According to a report in CNN, India has been taking a closer look at its rape laws after the notorious gang rape and murder of a 23-year old woman on a bus in 2012 as it circled through the streets of New Delhi. A legal amendment was added in 2013 that included forced oral sex as rape in criminal law.

The victim in this case, was in India conducting research and was introduced to Farooqui through a mutual friend. She later lodged a police complaint of being raped by Farooqui, and the case was lingering on for a while.
Indian observers feel that the traditional Indian society, has been slightly lax over subjugation of women and sexual attacks. The society seemingly has never bothered much about sexual exploitation and molestation of women. This is the reason that the society has never been able to come up with a permanent cure for the malaise that has ailed India, Pakistan and Bangladesh for decades.
Most women have feared approaching the legal system and the police dreading the societal norms which stigmatises and traumatises the victim. For a long time, women have never trusted the system because of the lackadasical approach of the society.
In most cases, high profile culprits were never put behind bars, but, the conviction of Farooqui might be the beginning for a new chapter, as it has given out the message that laws is getting stricter and nobody can be above the law when it comes to women’s honour.
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