Rape. A word that sends a chill down your spine. A heinous crime directed towards women where the victim has to face the entire wrath when the criminal wanders around fearless looking for a new prey to feast on. Can a medium like a comic book that is otherwise known to be a frivolous one, help in sensitizing people towards a rape victim?
In December 2012, when a 23 years old girl was tortured and raped by men in a running bus and was then thrown out onto the streets of New Delhi, the news hit headlines and the nation was bewildered. This incident inspired a story writer to write a comic book which has a central character named Priya who is the survivor of rape and now dons the role of a super hero to fight against the gender bias all over the world.
In this endeavor, she is guided by none other than Goddess Parvati who is a Hindu God and is believed to be goddess of power.
In this comic book, Priya who is a rape victim is disowned by her family and does not find justice with the society as well. She is not only victim of rape but also of a patriarchal society which judges women for everything.
Ravi Devineni, who is the creator of this comic book states that the idea stuck him when he protested on the streets of Delhi for the Nirbhaya case. He then spoke to many women who have been rape victims and realized the injustice they had to face and the gender bias that is prevalent in the society which places the blame on the woman i.e. the victim rather than the man who is the criminal.
This gave him the idea to create the comic book “Priya’s Shakti” which describes the problems women have to face in the patriarchal setup of the Indian society and the harassment they have to face in the hands of men. In this book, he comes up with a new super heroine Priya who fights against these biases and the two most important Gods of Hindu mythology – Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati support her in this.
Ravi Devineni has used Hindu Gods to narrate his story because Hinduism is the most practiced religion in India and the Gods and their stories are deeply imbibed in the hearts and souls of Indians. Thus, he thinks that by using the mythological angle he would be able to put through his views and ideas to more number of people.
This comic book is now available in English and Hindi in India and its free digital copies are also available online.