In 2016, when Pink released, it emerged as a critical and commercial hit – because finally, a movie had attempted to showcase the idea and importance of consent.
From the start till the end, Pink made for an engaging, albeit harrowing, watch. And Deepak Sehgal’s closing speech has become a regular on social media, thanks to the dialogue on consent about ‘No’ being a complete sentence, irrespective of who says it.
But apart from Deepak Sehgal’s powerful closing argument, the statements he makes while fighting the case are just as impactful in debunking the patriarchal ideology that women are, in any way, responsible for a man’s actions.
More importantly, Sehgal’s statements in the court also attempt to highlight the ugly practice of character shaming that women are subjected to – especially those who are survivors of sexual assault.
Sharab ko yaha ek galat character ki nishani maana jaata hai, sirf ladkiyon ke liye. Ladkon ke liye to ye sirf ek Health Hazard hai!
From women’s clothes to their lifestyle choices, everything is put under the scanner and used as an excuse to justify sexual assault, because women were “asking for it”. And nothing could be farther from the truth.
Jo ladkiyan party mei jaati hai aur drink karti hai, wo pushtaini hak ban jaati hai aapka… ladkiyan kisi (ladke) ke saath dinner, drinks pe jaati hai to woh unki apni choice hoti hai. Available hone ka sign board banke nahi jaati woh.
More importantly, it makes a valiant attempt to shift the blame on the perpetrator, rather than the victim/survivor. And along with Amitabh Bachchan’s powerful performance, the film’s writers also deserve credit for bringing this issue to light so eloquently.
Anubhav Sinha’s Thappad attempts to do the same, though in far more subtle and nuanced fashion than Pink. But perhaps, sometimes, situations don’t need nuance. Sometimes, we need to spell out the truth in clear, logical terms so people finally realize that women can’t be held responsible for man’s actions.
You can watch the entire scene here:
All images are screenshots from Disney+Hotstar.