In ‘Judwaa 2’, we see the main character or the ‘hero’ slapping a girl’s behind and then forcibly kissing her without her consent. While the scene in the movie tries to portray it as comedy, it is anything but comedy.
Judwaa 2 is what happens when the ‘hero’ gets away with stalking, harassing and eve-teasing the lead actress. This is the result of years of conditioning – the hero, a privileged man left unchecked. The peppy music that plays in the background symbolizes that this should be comedic. This not only glamorizes sexual assault but also symbolizes women’s bodily autonomy as a playful thing.
Legally, consent means voluntary, clear and unmistakable agreement expressed by someone to take part in a specific act. If the main character was brought before a court under Indian law, his actions could be considered as sexual harassment.
According to Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, sexual harassment occurs when a man commits any of the following acts, without a woman’s consent:
- physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and direct sexual overtures;
- a demand or request for sexual favours;
- showing pornography.
The punishment for these acts is jail time for up to three years and/or a fine.