This article analyzes the mediatized representations of the Indian “rape crisis” that gained global attention in the aftermath of the brutal gang rape of Jyoti Singh Pandey in New Delhi in 2012. While much attention was given to Leslie Udwin’s documentary on the incident, India’s Daughter (2015), which was subsequently banned by the Indian government, there were several other creative responses that attempted to negotiate with the meaning of the event. This article examines two such texts—the multimedia short story We Are Angry (2015) and the augmented-reality comic Priya’s Shakti (2014). Both these texts declare their intention to function as “activist” multimedia pieces that leverage the power of Internet-mediated platforms to raise awareness about the condition of the “Indian woman” in the contemporary moment. This article argues that these texts, in their attempts to portray an essentialized and universalized image of the “Indian woman,” reenact certain violent historical erasures along the lines of caste, sexuality, class, and religion. The article undertakes a medium-specific examination of the works, considering their presumed audiences, language, content, and most notably their (failed) attempts at locating themselves within both historical and contemporary Indian feminist landscapes. In doing so, this discussion situates itself within ongoing Indian social justice debates, specifically those pertaining to mediatized narratives of rape, in order to critique the production of “feminism” in We Are Angry and Priya’s Shakti. By considering these texts alongside other, more inclusive online narrative spaces, we underline the importance of multiple feminist voices being heard on the issues in question, as well as the need to question any seemingly universal “we” of these narratives, their audience, or the women they claim to represent.
Pande, Rukmini and Nadkarni, Samira
"I Will Tell Your Story: New Media Activism and the Indian “Rape Crisis”,"
Journal of Feminist Scholarship:
11, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/jfs/vol11/iss11/5