With the arrival of angry young man--the anti hero--in the 1970s, the role of the heroine also changed. At first she plays second fiddle to the hero. She is ill-treated by the society, seduced, raped and widowed in violent action. Until the late 1970s explicit rape as the central theme of a film was unusual. Indian films often featured attempted rape, as one may find in "Mother India". But, it is B.R.Chopra's "Insaaf ka Tarazu" which is generally regarded as the first "rape movie", and subsequently, several films have taken after the track. N. Chandra's "Pratighat" falls in this genre.
"Pratighat" (Retribution) revolves around corrupt politicians and the ongoing crisis over law and order in a small town. The main theme is the humiliation of a college teacher, Laxmi (Sujata Mehta). An ordinary housewife , she is disrobed by the villain, Kali, on the street in front of her house, with her family and the neighbours watching in silence. When the notorious Kali is through with his inane act, he walks away in valiant disposition. The molested lady is left bare-bodied until the insane Nana Patekar, a reject from the police force, projects the National Flag that shrouds the victim's fleshy exposure. Laxmi walks out of her dastard husband and aborts the child she has been carrying, not becaus she wants to assert her right over her body but to free herself for action. She joins forces with Durga, who had been gang raped by Kali. Laxmi conditions herself to face the final fight. She stands against Kali in the election. She champions herself in her act of retaliation by hacking him to death in front of the multitude as witness.