The defining line

The defining line

There is a clear difference between love and obsession in a relationship, finds out Surabhi Jajodia     

He doesn’t have to hit you to be an abuser. He can degrade, humiliate, blame, curse and manipulate or try to control you. It’s still violence,” is an oft-repeated complaint. Now replace he with she. Isn’t it true that it is always assumed that women are the victims.

There are enough stories where women have inflicted violence on men. Most people do not even think about the state of a man’s mind undergoing abuse. Especially when men are always looked upon as culprits.

Also, stories of violence among homosexual couples is something which is never talked about. Social norms are identified as the dominant drivers for intimate partner violence in India. However, there is a high level of reluctance from both men and women victims to talk about violence in relationships.

At the screening of Kya Yahi Pyaar Hai, India’s first 360/VR(Virtual Reality) film and a panel discussion that took place at Social, Hauz Khas, intimate partner violence and pop culture was discussed by the panellists.

Intimate partner violence is any behavior within an intimate relationship, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors. Whatever has been worked or talked about intimate partner violence has been in terms of domestic violence. Cases abound, in schools and college, where teenage violence is common but still a taboo when it comes up for discussion. The stigma around relationships which affixes a tag like “characterless” or “slut” refrains people from coming out and talking about it in open.

Cross generation communication is not easy in a country like India and there is a need for resources to bridge the communication gap between young and old. Having open conversations is the first step towards correction. “One must talk about it with family and friends. It is also something which schools need to understand and embrace”, said Vithika Yadav, head of Love Matters organisation at the launch of the film which aimed to generate awareness on intimate partner violence.

“The idea of this film is to help young people reflect on their own relationships and realise the difference between caring and controlling behavior. Very often, controlling behavior is confused as caring by young people. Talk about being possessive, having control over your partner’s choices, whereabouts, etc. are some of the very common signs of what could be an abusive relationship. Unfortunately, popular culture, especially movies, often normalise this controlling behavior as love”, she added.

Sharing her experience while making the film, co-director, Gayatri Parameswaram said, “Directing  360/VR experience was challenging at many levels. Firstly, we had to leave the scene every time we hit record because we couldn’t be in the film. In 360, everything is captured. So, it helped that we trusted the actor, Arjun, quite a lot. And for him, it was difficult too as acting where camera is almost a character, wasn’t easy. But I’m glad about how it has all shaped up”

By integrating technology creatively in the work they do, they aim to connect more with the young target audience by enabling them to get a realistic immersive experience of what is intimate partner violence. “We have got into a partnership with DMRC and there will be screening of the three minute VR film from June 21 and 30 across metro stations in Delhi. This will be a huge step in taking VR technology and the film to people and the best part is that its free of cost,” Yadav said.

Creating a noise is essential. And a discussion is important before trying to implement a change.



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