16 December is a date that Indians can never forget. It is the day when India demolished Pakistan with brute force in the 1971 war, liberating Bangladesh from Pakistani occupation. Ironically, this is also the day when an incident happened in the national capital, which shook the conscience of the nation once and for all.
That was the day when a paramedical intern, later christened Nirbhaya by the media, was brutally gang-raped by lecherous monsters in a moving bus. She was tortured in ways that one cannot even imagine. The victim and her injured boyfriend were later thrown naked on the road and were admitted much later into a hospital. What followed was a fierce mass movement that not only demanded a safer India for women but also inadvertently brought down the ruling party, i.e. Congress from power.
6 years later, a movie is all set to release on the silver screen next year, which shall pay a tribute to the trials and tribulations of Nirbhaya, who fought against all odds to tell her tale, despite being in a pitiable condition. Even though she succumbed to her injuries on 29 December 2012, the brave victim inspired millions to raise their voice against social prejudices.
Titled ‘Delhi Bus’, this is an independent movie directed by Sharique Minhaj, which stars Divya Singh, Aanjjan Srivastav [of ‘Wagle Ki Duniya’ fame], Neelima Azeem and Sanjay Singh in principal roles. The movie is produced by Vipul Shah Production and distributed by Zee Studios. The director has made it clear in his statement; this movie is a tribute to the struggle of Nirbhaya, which would attempt to raise some hard-hitting questions about the safety of women in the society.
To quote a press brief as stated by Sharique himself, “Atrocities against women is one of the major topics of discussion in the country today. So, we thought of making (something) which can make a difference to the society, highlighting the problems in an artistic manner.”
The director also went on to add that, “We want to dedicate it to Nirbhaya who fought for her life and dignity. We are paying a tribute to her through the movie.”
To be honest, it’s been 6 years since Nirbhaya succumbed to the brutal injuries she received, and yet, her family is waiting to receive justice. While the chief accused, Ram Singh committed suicide, the juvenile and apparently the most brutal rapist of them all is currently out after having a laughable 3 years under the archaic provisions of the previous Juvenile Justice Act before it was amended following much uproar throughout the country.
As of now, the Supreme Court has sentenced the remaining four rapists to death, and they’re awaiting their death sentence. Interestingly, M L Sharma, one of the defending advocates of rapists, who had demonized rape victims including Nirbhaya to nauseating levels, has also been forbidden by the Supreme Court from filing any other PIL. As such, it would be great if Sharique Minhaj’s ‘Delhi Bus’ portrays the incident without bias, and not make it another commercial cringefest.