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April 22, Mumbai: Documentary film “India’s Sons” showing several stories where innocent men and boys were falsely accused of rape in India and later honourably acquitted, punished for years for a crime that they did not do, was screened at St. Andrews Auditorium on April 22. The film has been directed by Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj and Neeraj Kumar and produced by Shonee Kapoor. Mumbai Premiere was presented by Kiren Srivastav, Founder, Fempowerment Foundation, a women empowerment organization that aims to work towards women empowerment and strongly believes in Justice for all irrespective of Gender.
Justice B N Srikrishna, Former Judge of Supreme Court of India presided as the Chief Guest of the evening said “The film rightly shows how people are misusing laws for selfish motives for extortion, revenge. It is happening because attitude of police and judiciary isn’t objective. Justice for women should not come at cost of trampling upon others’ rights. I commend the efforts of the Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj and team India’s Sons for showing the other side of the misuse of rape laws. It is certainly something we need to discuss and consider as false cases take away the belief in the legal system of the real victims too.”
The film was received by a thundering applause at the event and a standing ovation by one and all present to watch the film.
Kiren Srivastav, Founder, Fempowerment Foundation said “As someone who champions rights of women and celebrates women achievers through the Fempowerment Awards, I am today ironically also supporting India's Sons .Paradoxical as it may sound to many, I in fact feel these are two sides of the same coin. At a time when women are finally becoming powerful, it is also the right time to talk about the misuse of this power. For, I truly believe that with great power, also comes great responsibility. And not just because Spider-Man said it. But because, the world will soon need more than him - a Spider-Woman! And so we better get talking about both a woman's power and a woman's responsibility with that power, in the same breath."
Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj, Director of the film said “While we are all raising our voice for daughters, it’s time we also stand up for India's Sons.”
About India’s Sons
Since the infamous "Nirbhaya" Gangrape case that happened in the heart of Delhi, India has been under the world's eye for rising numbers of crimes against women. The horrific case led to various amendments in India's rape laws, making laws stricter and punishments more severe than ever before. Burden of proof practically shifted on the accused and testimony of woman alone became sufficient for conviction. While the laws were strengthened to address menace of sexual assault posing threat to lives of innocent women and girls, a new problem seems to be spreading fast in the country posing threat to lives of innocent men and boys - that of false rape accusations.
India’s Sons documentary is a compelling compilation of shocking cases from across India that present a true picture of blatant abuse of rape laws. Whether it is story of Prince – a young boy who was just 18 when he was thrown behind bars in a false rape case and his struggle for five years to get his freedom back or a full-fledged racket that was running in Rajasthan where an organized racket comprising of High Court lawyers, women and police made crores by threatening rich men of false rape cases, the film takes you through several instance where many questions get raised on how is the law functioning. The film has been narrated by Actor Karan Oberoi. It presents well researched data from National Crime Records Bureau and various courts depicting the abuse of rape laws. The documentary specifically discusses that while number of reported cases have drastically increased, conviction rate has dwindled and acquittal rates gone up essentially due to false cases in India. Analysing data on rape on false promise of marriage cases (where a man allegedly refuses to marry a woman who he was in sexual relationship with by making promise of marriage) the documentary states that such cases have increased from 19% of total reported cases in 2015 to 45% of total reported cases in 2019. The film ends on a tragic note of case of Arvind Bharti, a young man from Delhi who ended life on a railway track after fighting with false accusations from his ex-wife for almost a decade.