Simar Singh, the man behind the poem –“The Legal Rapist” is a 16 yr old who has achieved a lot in the field of short films, stand-up comedy and now poetry through UnErase and is willing to do more. Let’s not forget ‘A Brown Girl’s Guide to Gender’ and ‘Before You Commit Suicide’ was some of the best poems UnErase Poetry gave us.
Excerpts from the interview:
About your poem-“The Legal Rapist” Did anyone questioned you because being a man you were the voice of women?
“Yes, of course, a lot of people have their different feedback on the piece. People did think that it should have been a female saying it but a lot of other people appreciated so it kind of balanced out.”
In all the poetry sessions at UnErase a person plays guitar, how do you think music connects to poetry?
“Firstly, Pranav Kakkar is the guitarist who plays the guitar. Secondly, it is a format we use in our shows because it is something I’m personally fond of as music adds a lot of flavor to the poem and it helps to build-up the kind of emotion the poet is trying to present through the piece. So I think music plays an important role in UnErase poetry and we can clearly see the effect by audience responses.”
You made short films and did stand-up comedy and now you provide a platform and do open mic poetry. How different do you feel about yourself in both the situations?
“All the art-forms are really different but as an artist if I’m finding a particular place to express myself whether it be standup comedy or poetry or making a short films its one and the same thing. With poetry the results are fairly faster because when you write a piece you directly have the piece with you but with a short film it’s a one month long process to get the end product. Standup comedy is also about writing, writing, writing but the same kind of effort goes into all these things. The art forms are very different still very similar.”
Indian Constitution does not include ‘male victims’ as rape victims. Do you think that at one place we talk about equality and at the other, some people refuse to make rape gender neutral?
“I think it is something that needs to change in our judiciary because when we speak about gender equality or I speak about feminism it means equality on both genders. I know this is an issue which even I have spoken about a lot that a male victim of sexual abuse isn’t recognized by the law. However someone can be covered under the child abuse act which comes under the Section 377 of unnatural sex. So a boy below 18 he can be covered but after 18 if a man is sexually abused he cannot be covered. As an artist we can use our poetry to make that message reach out people but the law and order isn’t in my hand so I can’t actually make a change but we can try to start upon these issues.”
About the recent Nirbhaya verdict, the lawyer of the rapist said that the judgement is against human rights, your say on that?
In the words of Mr. Simar Singh, “I’m glad that justice has come although it has come late, it has come and the punishment was deserved by the four convicted. India’s legal system does have a provision of capital punishment and a lot of other countries like USA too have it. This is because certain crimes are way beyond just life imprisonment, the punishment they deserve is way more than that. And I personally believe that capital punishment should be used in rare of the rarest crime but this case was one such crime, the way they assaulted the female is beyond the imagination of someone like me. I think the government was right on giving them the punishment. ”
At the age of 9 you started writing, what was your motivation?
“I had no motivation it was compulsory for me because everyone in my family is a writer or an artist or something, so for me it was that I was given a diary and I had to write so I didn’t have an option of not writing.”
Your future plans?
“Just want to keep creating great content at poetry. Make more and more people listen to poetry and become a part of the community and help the community grow. That’s all we are planning to do and want to do. No as such future plan.”
What message do you have for young writers who don’t get a platform for their writings?
“I think if you don’t get a platform it is better that you create one for yourself and that’s what most of us did right now. There weren’t many online platforms for poetry so we thought we just need to create one. So if you think you are a good enough writer, do it. Firstly it is all about writing, keep writing. Every time you write you will think that you have improved from the last time and if you think you are not getting the right platform then you need to get up and create one. That’s how it works you cannot wait for someone to do something.”
Waves are never a barrier for people who learn to surf. The MagZone is really pleased to interview Simar Singh who has a lot of good to give the society and is willing to make a change instead of waiting for someone to do it.
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