In a radically experimental style, set in a police station, Aika to The Baika combines the sharp banter of a lavani performance to treat a serious subject of gender bias in the legal system with a light and inclusive hand. The video has been produced in collaboration with the feminist legal centre Majlis, founded in 1991 with a vision to make justice accessible and provide quality legal help to women and children especially those from vulnerable and marginalised sections, and evolve innovative, feminist legal practices. Over 25 years the team, headed by Flavia Agnes, has worked with over 50,000 women. The song lyrics drew from the experience of these lawyers in their encounters with the justice system.
Bilkul Pandey and Kunti G are two cops who pride themselves on being protectors of women. But when the time comes to Aika To The Baika (Listen to the Women) the cracks in the pro-woman façade start to show. As the dazzling lavani artists Shakku, Megha and Akanksha come in with their complaints of domestic violence, sexual harassment and of parental control over a woman’s romantic choices, they confront the gender biases that make justice a far away thing for women.
The video generated a strong discussion around these issues and is being used in sensitisation workshops with police in Maharashtra as well as elsewhere. A number of organisations working with legal counsel as well as restorative justice and gender issues have been using the video. The video was also widely covered by media outlets, helping to amplify the discussion on gender based violence from the perspective of experiences on the ground.