1997’s Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat was Rani Mukerji’s second film. This movie is riddled with questionable character choices and plot points. To our horror, this movie blatantly romanticizes the concept of ‘marry your rapist.’
The story for this outrageous movie is written by Santosh Saroj. The man who gave us hits like Shahenshah and Agneepath also gave us a ‘marry your rapist’ propaganda. The movie stars Rani Mukerji (Mala) as the victim and Shadaab Khan (Raj) as the rapist and eventually a husband/lover. Yes, you read it right.
Mala embarrasses Raj’s friend at his own wedding which prompts Raj to insult her. Enraged, Mala slaps Raj. This shakes the living man-ego out of Raj as he avenges the slap by raping her in front of everyone! It’s sad for me to admit this, but the movie is pretty realistic till now.
The movie ups the ridiculousness to 11 after this. The court orders Raj to marry Mala as her honour cannot be restored and no man would take her for a wife. In other words, the court says, “Mala, be a lamb and marry your rapist.”
Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat now follows Mala’s married life and how she’s trying to win over her husband’s affection. The family tries to kill her but Mala has 9 lives. Eventually, the rapist and the victim fall in love and live a happy married life. Ugh, never knew I’d write that sentence.
Recently, Turkey proposed a ‘marry your rapist’ law and it was rightly met with protests. The apparent ‘honour’ attached to a woman’s sex life has been pushed by Bollywood since its inception. Sex in India has always been misrepresented in our movies. Bollywood is the byproduct of our society, and that’s where the real problem resides.
Terms such as ‘pure’, ‘honour’ and ‘clean’ are usually used to describe an ‘ideal’ woman. A sexually active unmarried woman is subjected to character assassination by the society. Should we be surprised when the enforcers have the audacity to propose a law like ‘marry your rapist.’ Did the filmmakers of Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat know they were glorifying this? Or was this intentional? Either way, it’s disgusting and should be disowned.