Of late, there has been a surge in the numbers of prank videos. They range from the most innocuous to the most offensive.
The recent prank video doing the rounds of the internet is of a boy who appears to kidnap a girl. Of course, the original uploader is a channel that does such pranks. Their followers, therefore, know beforehand that what they are watching will end up in a hilarious (or pleasant) way.
And it does: the girl realises that her friends are giving her a surprise birthday party on the road.
You may have enjoyed it. Watching a ‘boyfriend’ giving this ‘surprise’ to his girl must have “made your day” or “amazed you”. But the truth is that this prank video is not only in very poor taste but actually puts women’s safety in India at great risk.
We cannot count the number of rapes and molestation that happen to women in this country every day. The recent mass molestation incident in Bengaluru is a shocking reminder of the fear the women in India have to live with their entire lives.
Think about it. This video is being shared across social media – which is the single biggest influencer of our times. It is getting liked and shared by many.
Now suppose someone who has seen this video and realised that it was just a prank comes across a real kidnapping. It is very much likely that even if he would have stepped into to help a woman in distress, he might be inclined to brush such an incident off thinking that it could be another prank.
In a country where hardly anyone comes to the aid of women in distress, such videos do more harm.