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Chhapaak: Of Corrosive Mindsets and the Undying Will of the Survivors

The newly released film Chhapaak is analysed and used as a vehicle to comment on acid attacks as a heinous act and how the survivors brave the brutalities meted out to them. 

The film Chhapaak (2020) is a telling representation of the fact that acid violence in India has a specifically gendered dimension.1 It foregrounds how acid is used as a weapon to attack a female who does not consent to unjust demands of a patriarchal mindset. Most victims are women who choose to stand up for themselves, attempt to step beyond the confines of expected roles or refuse to be coerced into marriage alliances, thus signifying the extent of gruesomeness that is deployed to silence a dissenting female voice. Disfigurement of the face or incapacitating the victim in terms of vision, hearing and movement are the commonly identifiable methods in these attacks. It exacerbates the barbarity of the act, making it visibly apparent that the motive is prolonged suffering. This form of savagery against women is a sad reality of contemporary India.2 What compounds and renders the situation even more grim is the rate of conviction in such cases of acid attacks. The film weaves in the social, legal, psychological and emotional ramifications of this symbolic and physical violence against women to appeal that this is an issue that must not remain unaddressed and that it is high time that concrete and stringent measures are taken.

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Updated On : 10th Feb, 2020

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