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Many Indian men share Mukesh's views: Indo-American director

Press Trust of India  |  Los Angeles 

Ram Devineni, an Indo-Ameican filmmaker, says the derogatory remarks made by a Delhi gang-rape convict about women are not surprising as he has met many Indian men with the same opinion.

Mukesh Singh, who was interviewed by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin in her documentary "India's Daughter" that chronicles the nerve-wrecking December 16 Delhi gang-rape case, said a woman is more responsible for rape than a man.

Devineni is behind creating "Priya's Shakti", a free-to-download comic book that tells the story of an Indian gang-rape victim-turned-superhero and during the process of making he met many guys in Delhi, reported NBC

"Priya is influenced by Nirbhaya. She is the reason why I wrote this comic book," he said.

The "Priya's Shakti" team has released a footage from their man-on-street interviews with young men in Delhi as well as a gang rape survivor, to NBC

"The reason I created the videos is to put a real face and voices to the comic book and Priya. Comic books have a tendency to remove the reader from reality, but by adding the videos into the comic book I was able to show that there is a real human face and story behind the characters," explained Devineni.

In this first video, the team speaks to young working class men between the ages of 21-25 at a street market in South Delhi.

One of the men says he thinks rape is 50 per cent the man's fault and 50 per cent the woman's fault. A few others say provocative clothing invites rape and harassment.

"I never got the impression that they were violent or would misbehave in anyway," said Devineni.

"But they all shared the same patriarchal views towards women. They believed that women should be conservative and only 'bad' girls get raped."

Devineni tells NBC that he also encountered men who defended female rape victims.

"I don't want to paint a picture that all Delhi men are like this. But of course, it's still scary to think that half the men feel that a woman is equally at fault."

In his second video, the team speaks to a 19-year-old girl, who was gang-raped by a group of young local men three years ago in a village on the outskirts of Haryana.

Despite facing grave threats, she took legal action against the rapists and was able to get them sentenced.

The rape survivor is currently pursuing a degree in social work and volunteers with a local NGO, which advises and counsels rape survivors.

"Her story and the stories of other rape survivors directly influenced in the creation of my character in the comic book. 'Priya' is a compilation of them," said Devineni.

First Published: Sun, March 08 2015. 14:48 IST