In 2016, Bollywood actress Radhika Apte found herself in the middle of a controversy, when an explicit video of a scene from her film, Parched, was leaked and posted without any context on the internet. The actress as a result had to field inappropriate questions from the media, endure cyber bullying and was slut shamed. Radhika stood up for herself and her agency, and called out the trolls, earning the applause of many.
In a case of art imitating life, Kalki Koechelin has starred in a short film called Naked that tells a similar story. She plays an actress who gets subjected to intense cyber bullying when a similarly explicit video clip of hers goes viral.
The 14-minute short then explores the anger and the myriad emotions that she experiences due to the rampant slut shaming, name calling and abuse she has had to endure as a result of this incident. During a subsequent interview she fiercely calls out the double standards inherent in society that enables rape culture.
The film directed by Rakesh Kumar is also a searing indictment of celebrity culture and the kind of abuse women receive for existing in online spaces. The video, which has been posted on YouTube, has over 1.7 million views.
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According to a Global Youth Online Behaviour Survey released by Microsoft in 2012, India was ranked third worldwide in cyber bullying after China and Singapore. The survey noted that 53 percent of those who had been bullied were children.
The film can be viewed below[embedvideo id=”R29hoYjAF6w” website=”youtube”]
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