Mukhtar Mai, an illiterate Pakistani woman who was a victim of gang rape by the order of a local village council back in 2002 and unlike other women in Pakistan denied to stay silent and raised her voice against the system, has inspired to initiate an opera that is based on her story.
Thumbprint is a 150,000 dollars production that is being currently played in a basement in Manhattan, New York. With Thumbprint, the production team has shocked the viewers as these kinds of topics are not presented in opera normally and this actually is what the production team intended to do i.e. shock the people.
Mukhtar Mai is now 42 years old. She was gang raped in order to avenge the mistake of his 12–year–old brother. He was allegedly having inappropriate relationship with a woman from the rival Mastoi clan.
She decided not to keep silent unlike many of the women in our country. Although six men involved in this case were sentenced to death in the landmark ruling but later 5 were released and only one main culprit was sentenced to life imprisonment. Although justice was not delivered to her as it should have been and nationwide strikes against the decision were carried out but Mukhtar Mai went on to become an inspirational figure for the women rights internationally.
Indian-American composer Kamala Sankaram, who is singing the lead role said
It’s inspiring. This is a person who was completely illiterate and knew nothing of her rights and the laws of her country and yet she had the courage to step out.
This is a very small production and the orchestra consists of only six people while the duration is 90 minutes. The place where it is presented has a capacity for only 170 people while the price of the ticket is 25 dollars.
This effort mainly focuses on the fact that in South Asia (as highlighted in the incidence of a New Delhi student girl who was raped by some people in the bus and then after torturing and raping her she was thrown out of the bus and she later died), rape incidences are increasing and women in these countries are facing a grieve situation.