Today morning's newspapers carried the chilling story of the rape of a 23 year old photojournalist working with an English magazine who was assigned to do a story on old chawls in the city. In a scary reminder of the Delhi gang rape, 2 men tied up the victims friend, assaulted him while 3 men raped the young girl. This happened in daylight at an abandoned mills compound in the heart of the city. The victim is supposed to be in a bad condition at a city hospital while as per the latest news, Mumbai police have managed to capture two of the accused.
Every person reading the news was in a state of shock and many expressed their sentiments openly. Celebs and actors were not far behind and social media sites were abuzz with emotions and opinions.
Amongst all this, life goes on and so is the case with our entertainment industry which had to go on with its regular events. At one such promotional event for KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati
) on Sony TV
, host Amitabh Bachchan
too was asked by media persons about the incident and his reaction too was one of deep hurt and regret. Said Mr. Bachchan, "It is very sad and hurtful that a 22 year old girl was raped and abused and that too during the day at a central location in Mumbai."
Comparing it with the Delhi incident he added, "All this time we thought that Mumbai is a safer city as compared to Delhi and that in Mumbai a woman's rights are protected and her respect is held intact but that myth has been shattered. This incident has proved us wrong."
What does he think should be the action taken? "Those criminals should be caught at the earliest and severely punished. Till they are not punished these things will be repeated."
Citing the Nirbhaya case, Mr. Bachchan stated, "The Nirbhaya case in Delhi happened 7 months back but still action has not been taken. And for justice to happen he feels that action should be taken fast, There is a law in place but it should be enforced too and action should be taken fast so that people know what will happen to them when they commit a crime."
On a long term basis, Mr. Bachchan feels, "First of all law and order should be in place. Finding the criminals and punishing them soon is the best solution. The society should work on its thinking and change its outlook towards women. It should be best achieved through education or maybe through lectures by eminent personalities who can influence the masses."
At the end, Mr. Bachchan also evoked emotions as he said, "We all have just celebrated Raksha Bandhan couple of days back wherein sisters have tied rakhis to their brothers who have in turn vowed to protect them. It is not necessary to tie rakhi to real brothers only and sometimes boys get rakhis tied by other girls too and pledge to safeguard their respect. We come from such an Indian culture and follow such respectable traditions and then we hear all this! Why is everyone forgetting our culture and traditions? Why are people doing this? It is inexplicable and very sad!"
He hoped that media continues to play their role promptly, "Media keeps everyone informed about what happens where and we hope that they continue doing so henceforth too. They should keep up with the good work and we should soon find a solution to this problem," he ended.
Just like Mr. Bachchan we too feel that this is a serious problem which should be treated from the roots and a drastic solution needs to be found soon. Will someone from the Indian television take an initiative to begin with?
Seema Khot Mattoo
(with inputs from Ruchika Singh)