Pankhuri Awasthi and Uppekha Jain have become overnight internet sensations after uploading a video of themselves rapping about sexual assault.
Since posting the video clip on YouTube on Tuesday, their video has already had almost 170,000 views.
The pair from Mumbai preface their #RapAgainstRape saying they’re not rappers, before launching into a three minute attack on sexual violence and hypocrisy in their home country.
“This video doesn’t have any explicit or bannable [sic] content. It is just that the reality for women in India is explicit,” the video begins.
Delivering their powerful message in a mixture of English and Hindi, the pair tackle issues such as rape, clothing, infanticide, marriage and women walking alone at night.
Throughout the short clip the girls take turns holding up signs scrawled with hashtags like:
#CriminalsInParliament #Misogyny #Rape #Objectification #DomesticViolence #Patriarchy #Slut.
The rap is also dotted with statistics that pop up on the viewers screen to emphasise their points. One such statistic reads: ‘India kills 10 million girls in 20 years’.
“Get up on your feet and help reform this mind set/ that has been preset/ that women are nothing more than objects/ to be controlled, shut up and used for sex,” the girls urge the viewers.
“Gone are the times we stayed abused and broken / and behind closed doors we cried / it’s about time to change the tide and for you to get on our side / help us bring in a new day, for you, for me, for us / lets carve a new way,” they conclude.
#RapAgainstRape follows last months international outcry of the Indian government’s banning of India’sDaughter – a documentary about the horrific gang rape and murder of a young girl on a bus in New Delhi.
The rap has ignited fierce debate with supporters and critics battling it out on the YouTube page and on social media.
Criticisms include accusing the girls of seeking publicity. Supporters offer words of encouragement. A handful accuse the girls of being sexist against Indian men, demanding they leave the country and stop the “blaming”. Sadly some even threaten the young women with rape.
Awasthi and Jain, who called their duo the ‘Bombaebs’ reached out to their supporters:
“Hey guys a HUGE thank you to all who are supporting our video and for showing us so much love from across the world! Keep it coming!
“We are so happy that our video has sparked a debate in the right direction and we feel confident that eventually it will bring about change.
“We are duly grateful and humbled by your enormous love and support”.
Click the video below to watch: