Chhapaak, a film on acid attacks on women in India

Urmila Chanam
Posted January 14, 2020 from India

I saw Chhapaak yesterday. The experience was like how I felt when I watched Gajjni many years ago. Disturbed to the core by the intensity of violence against women in India, I envy others who could come out of the cinema hall and say "Achi movie thi"(English- It was a great movie) because I came out totally distraught and worked up.This is certainly not about one human being unleashing his jealousy, hatred and vengeance on another human being, its about a man unable to digest the fact that a girl/woman may choose education and opportunities over him to advance her status. Its about the new Indian woman who has aspirations outside of just getting married and the inability of the man to accept that and her new found confidence and freedom (read empowerment). I did not know that from 123 acid attacks reported in 2016 the number increased to 224 in 2017, the most recent acid attack happened in December 2019 when the rest of us were merry- making. Ban on sales of acid, a separate legal section for acid attacks proportionate to the nature of the crime and behaviour change (among boys and men) were the solutions the film offered. Malti (played by Deepika Padukone) got justice after several years but she had a rich woman to pay for 7 surgeries done on her to reconstruct her face(surgery cannot make the face like it was earlier but can save the eyes, nose and ears this is what I could make out from watching the film), a roof over her head( she lives with her father, mother and younger brother) and a family by her side, a job in an NGO which worked for acid attack survivors so she received understanding, support, livelihood and healing, support from the same rich woman to fight a legal case for many years at sessions court, high court and supreme court and media spotlight.

What must be the outcome for women who do not have the financial and moral support to fight a battle?

Comments 12

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Lisbeth
Jan 15
Jan 15

Dear Urmila,
Wow, this is horrible. You mean boyfriend's and husband's of these women pour acid on their women? I watch the trailer it's not good, if is base on true story the this is so sad.
Why will a man want to deform the girl friend or wife? Out of ego or hatred?
So is selling of acid ban? Or is the act ban?
I saw something like that in the trailer!

These individuals must be deal with. We agree to disagree, does that makes you my enemy?
Thanks for sharing to inspired us.
Regards

Urmila Chanam
Jan 16
Jan 16

Dear Lisbeth,
These men are not just boy friends but even suitors whose advances are not entertained by young women who want to study, keep a job, be economically independent, have an identity, be of support to parents or family to defy the age old norm that the role of man is to earn money and support family and that of a woman is to be home, cook and look after the needs of everyone in the family other than herself. An analysis of these cases makes us understand that all these men were insecure about these women, about the latter's choices, freedom or aspirations. At times these men were jealous and possessive and at other times, it was perhaps the control they thought they exercised by deforming her face. I am no expert in this area so I cannot say more, I too am eager to observe more, learn why its happening and reflect on what is the solution.
Love always,
Urmila Chanam,
India

Lisbeth
Jan 16
Jan 16

Oh wow, it horrible and serious offends and they must be dealt with according to the law.
I don't know how your country laws are effective but as regards these crimes they must not go free :-).
Hmmm

Jill Langhus
Jan 15
Jan 15

Hi Urmila,

How are you? Oh! Thanks for sharing this film and spreading awareness on this topic, and film. I hadn't heard about it, although, to be honest, I don't know if I could stomach it. Some heinous crimes are too difficult for me to wrap my head around, and this is one of them. Yeah, those stats are not good, and extremely disturbing. What the hell is going on!? The reconstructive surgery is great, if someone has that option, but all the unnecessary emotional and physical pain. I wonder if they ever get over it. I don't see why there isn't a ban on acid. It makes no sense to me. Unless you're a mechanic, maybe, why would you even need it, or have access to it?

I used to follow a FB group about acid attack victims but I couldn't deal with it any longer. There stories and resilience were amazing, but too heartbreaking.

I hope you're doing well, and having a good day!?

Amanda Obidike
Jan 15
Jan 15

Oh this is a sad but realistic question we need to design solutions for.
It is so painful to even watch this.
I think national policies should be shaped that can assist victims of this misfortune. With appropriate programs, women who encounter this can undergo surgery treatment and psychological healing...because nothing hurts more than the memories.

Thank you for sharing.

Anita Shrestha
Jan 15
Jan 15

Dear Urmila
It is sad story. This types of attack is increasing in nepal too/

lizzymark
Jan 15
Jan 15

Hi Urmila, this is truly disturbing, sometimes I just worry and wonder when all of this will end.just when you think its almost over another pop up again and I ask where is the world going to is anyone seeing this at all?How should a man or guy so that to someone they claim to love, it just feels like we all need to pick up placards and never sleep but keep on shouting to the world that women are humans also until there is a turn over of things. Am just overwhelmed by all these,but we will keep being hopeful until we are heard and defended. Thank you for shearing

Hello, dear sister Urmila,

Acid attacks are truly disturbing. Very inhumane! You raised your points well, dear sister.

I could not imagine the pain a woman is going through with this kind of abuse. Thank you for raising you voice about this issue, dear.

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Dear Urmila,
How are you my dear sister. It is indeed quite sad that women are treated that way and what is so annoying is that the men normally get away with this kind of cruel behaviour.
Thanks for sharing. I don't think I would have the courage to watch the movies till the end.
We still have a lot of work to do.
Have a lovely day

Beth Lacey
Jan 20
Jan 20

This is such a sad and awful situation.

ARREY- ECHI
Jan 24
Jan 24

Dear Sis Urmi,
I hope you are doing well this fine morning. Sorry your experience on the movie instead left you feeling bad with so many unaswered questions. Just maybe, on touching on this issue, the producers hope to draw attention to the challenges of being a woman in India?

"What must be the outcome for women who do not have the financial and moral support to fight a battle?" This question is a pertinent question I always ask myself. What happens to those who cannot afford the help and support when faced with situations like this?

Humanity sure needs to do better.

Kanwal Javed
Feb 03
Feb 03

You Threw acid on my Face...
But!
Not on my Dreams...
Chhapaak is really a heart touching,inspiring and motivational movie.