Nitish Raj; an MBA dropout is one of the literary figures who made a niche for himself before placing his foot in the world of fiction. Before publishing his debut novel “I Had Also Loved Someone” he made his name as a columnist. Apart from being a columnist with The Policy Times, he has adequated himself with a lot of other attributes as a feminist, orator, literary critic, blogger, movie critic and anchor. His literary reviews have been published in some reputed literary magazines like eFiction India.
Q.1 At the time when Indian authors are normally debuting with romance novels, why you risked yourself with such a sensitive topic like gang-rape?
Ans. Obviously! A lot of authors are debuting with romance genre novels but its’ not necessary for every author. A lot of big names have debuted with different genres and they are big name today. It solely depends on the author that which genre he wants to choose to set his foot in the literature world. And as far as the sensitivity of the book is considered, we can’t ignore the malfeasance of the society. At the time when gang-rape have spread like an epidemic in our country, being a sensible human being you can’t even think of words like ‘Risk’ while touching this subject as a debut author. We will have to get rid of these fashionable fantasies if we really need to do something for the society rather than just reading the newspapers in our drawing-room over a cup of tea.
Q.2 How much we have been able to raise the consciousness of the common masses through literature?
Ans. Since ages literature has played an important role in shaping the thought-process of the common masses. Whether it be any atrocities of the society, literature has the potential to raise awareness against them. It all depends upon the authors to pen down sensible works which could create a long-lasting impact with a motto in the minds of the general public.
Q.3 You have justified the revenge of the protagonist in your novel. How much is it justified to take law into your own hands?
Ans. Its’ not like that. Revenge and taking law into your own hands are quite different things. Playing with the law by giving the excuse of your situation can never be encouraged whereas revenge is something a psychological by-product of our own thought process. It comes out of either helplessness as in the case of Niharika Ahuja, the protagonist or who are of “An eye for an eye” mentality.
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Q.4 What should be the role of media in dealing with a heinous crime like gang-rape?
Ans. Media can be the most powerful tool in eradicating such heinous crimes. In spite of sensitizing a particular case, they need to give equal space to each and every case. How can they even differentiate between the plights of these victims? How can media even cover their space with what a particular personality was wearing when he or she was coming out of the airport and leaving behind the agony of a rape victim? Media would have to come out of the obsession of Page 3 and celebrities if they really want to be the guiding force of the country.
Q.5 You have coined the term “Mutual gang-grape”? What exactly does it mean?
Ans. Mutual gang-rape is actually the worst form of gang-rape. The rape victim is subject to a brutal tormentation by her own boyfriend along with his friends as the person of such diseased mentality consider her an object of recreation. It differs from date rape as the perpetrator is just one and in this case as the term suggests the number of prurient varlets is more than one.
Q.6 You have depicted the love as an object. How much is it good to objectify such a pious virtue?
Ans. If we just have a look at the present scenario, this so-called auspiciousness of love has almost lost its’ essence. Gone are those days when love used to be a virtue as these are now just found in romantic novels and novels. Today love has switched its position to lust and the degrading relationships are a crystal-clear evidence. Even if we have a bird’s eye view around yourself, it’s not uncommon to witness multiple relationships, one-night stands, one-day affairs and other forms of immoral and illegitimate relationships. Indeed! Love is a pious virtue but this virtue has turned into vice which has been diseased with our modern thought-process which considers love as a matter of practical aspects. Today its’ a seldom sight to have a look at those people who are ready to sacrifice themselves in the name of love.
Q.7 At the time when women are so much empowered, why do we witness lewd crimes like gang-rape?
Ans. Just having an example of few empowered women at our disposal, we can’t pass our judgment of women being empowered. Even today women are left to be at the mercy of this patriarchal society where reporting a rape even to your parents are considered a matter of bringing shame rather than applauding them for their unparalleled courage. How much it is unfateful that women have to give an explanation for their dress even and we just feel relaxed considering it just a norm of the society? Till the time we are not able to empower the women at large irrespective of their education, it would be a utopian dream to put a full stop to lewd crimes like gang-rape!