A video by a group of comedians that lampoons controversial comments by public figures after the gang-rape of a student in New Delhi last December has gone viral.
The satirical video features Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin and television host Juhi Pandey explaining why women must take the blame for the rising number of rapes in India.
“Scientific studies suggest that women who wear skirts are the leading cause of rape. Do you know why? Because men have eyes,” Koechlin says at the start of the video, which runs for almost four minutes.
Koechlin goes on to show examples of “provocative” clothing, including a woman covered in a black burqa and a spacesuit complete with a helmet.
The video “It's your fault” has been viewed more than 800,000 times and received more than 4,000 comments since it was published on YouTube on September 19, and has gone viral on Indian networking sites.
Politicians and one of the country's leading gurus made a series of comments in reaction to the gang-rape last December, in which everything from mobile phones to short skirts and noodles were blamed for violence against women.
The attack on the student triggered angry street protests as well as a national debate over the way India treats its women and who was responsible for the rising levels of violence.
The video was made by four stand-up comedians who wanted to change the “massive misconception” that women invite rapes.
“These are deep-rooted patriarchal biases. It happens everywhere in the world and in India especially so,” Tanmay Bhat, one of the comedians, told AFP on Monday.
“We often see families disowning rape victims. We wanted to contribute positively to the conversation about the subject.”
The video also takes a swipe at police who are largely seen as insensitive to victims of sexual crimes.
Last month, Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh sparked anger by suggesting that city residents need to choose between a “promiscuous culture” that allows public kissing, or a city made safe by “moral policing”.
He made the comments after a 22-year-old photographer was gang-raped while on assignment for a magazine in central Mumbai with a male colleague.
On the video, a smiling Koechlin says: “If you are tired of being humiliated by rape, you can always go to the cops and be humiliated by them instead.”
The video ends with a series of women of different ages and backgrounds saying “it's my fault” to the camera.