This particular case hit very close to home. When I was younger, there was a dramatic rape-killing in my neighborhood in which I knew both the victim, victim’s family and the perpetrator and his family. It was devastating to see such a horrid scene at a young age and lose trust in friends.
Why do you have such brilliant colors in your painting on a tragic event?
Well, if you study a bit on the people, the clothing is extremely colorful and beautiful during festivals. Additionally, many of the shanty towns try to paint in festive colors. To me the colors just represent the gay, colorful side of India. It represents the possibilities the victim had before the crime took her life. If you ever get to go to the Diwali festival, people wear beautiful traditional clothing and look like princes and princesses. There is also a famous holiday of Holi in which people run around town throwing color upon each other, so the whole town looks like an explosion of color.
Do you think this event will change attitudes in India towards rape?
This is a difficult question to answer. Unfortunately, the only way to get the change is from protesting such terrible crimes as these. Many cultures have paternal, traditional values of ownership and limited freedom of women that leads to accepting rape when traveling publicly. In any country at any time there is a danger for women, the challenge is to make it unacceptable and increase the safety of women in public to limit the occurances of these crimes. I hope that people will sign the petition below to gather support in India for new laws to help protect women: