Thursday, December 18, 2014

India's new comic book heroine fights rape

CC Liu, Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; Rhitu Chatterjee (NPR, 12-16-14)
Heroic Priya on a tiger fights rape in Indian comics (Ram Devineni/
Kali Kardashian with Kanye West skull necklace, Ma Durga (kunkle/
A deva (fem. devi) is a diva, "shining one," goddess like Shakti (russelldunnepracticesmetta)
India's new comic book hero fights rape, rides on the back of a tiger
Angelic goddesses (
(NPR) Her name is Priya, and she is the star of a new graphic novel in India. After she is gang-raped, her family and neighbors shun her -- but then a Hindu goddess grants her special powers.

Two years ago to the day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi, the capital of India. Three days later she died from her injuries.
Ma Tara as Kali, Parvati, Durga
The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.
And one man was inspired to create a comic book superheroine.
Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to "Priya," a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against females.
The story of a brutal gang-rape in India inspired Ram Devineni to create the superhero Priya.
Gang-rape in India inspired Ram Devineni
It started with a conversation with a New Delhi policeman in the days after the rape. "I asked what he thought about what had happened on the bus," says Devineni.

"I'm paraphrasing here, but he basically said, 'No good girl walks home alone at night,' which implies she deserved it or provoked it. I immediately realized the problem of sexual violence in India is not a legal issue but a cultural problem."
The Indian Goddess Lakshmi
After months of traveling around India talking to all sorts of people, including rape victims, about sexual violence, Devineni decided to create Priya.

Shunned by her family and village after she is raped, she takes refuge in the jungle and is stalked by a tiger. Parvati, a Hindu goddess, comes to her aid and grants her special powers that include fearlessness and a magical mantra that she uses to change people's minds. More
Tibetan Buddhist representation of Kali with Hindu gods and goddesses of Tibet, revealing syncretism of Tantra, painted in Ladakh (India) murals (rishabh.asthana/

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