Malayalam actress molestation case: Actresses speak up on the issue – In the wake of the recent molestation of an actress, we put this question to actresses in the city
In the wake of the recent molestation of an actress, we put this question to actresses in the city
Taapsee Pannu, Patralekha, Vishakha Singh, Kalki Koechlin, Richa Chadha & Divya Dutta
Five days ago, a popular Malayalam actress was allegedly abducted and molested in a car on her way from Thrissur to Kochi. She was travelling from one set post shooting for one film and dub for another.
The culprits who accosted her, reportedly took videos and photos of the actress. The actress’ former driver Martin was allegedly one among the gang and had colluded with another former driver, Sunil.
The actress, spoke to the police and gave a statement about the incident.
The shocking incident has once again raised questions on the safety of women and female actors in particular. We asked a few film and television actresses how safe do they feel, what measures need to be taken to make them feel safe while shooting in remote areas, etc. Here’s what they said…
The thought of being unsafe hasn’t even remotely crossed my mind when I am with my driver. And this incident jolted me a bit. Usually, while travelling, I’m pretty careful. I make sure I have my Google Maps on all the time to check which route I am being taken through. But this kind of horrific incident could’ve happened to anyone.
I live in Mumbai and I have a trusted driver who takes me around. There are times that I travel by train or take the rickshaw. Never has it happened that I felt unsafe, but again this is Mumbai, the safest city in India!
Frankly speaking, Indian women are lways in a proactive mode to be safe. We are taught from day one to safeguard ourselves. We are taught to distrust. No place is safe anymore. My heart goes out to the victim. If our own car isn’t safe for us, I don’t know what is. However, this incident is not going to scare me from travelling on my own.
I feel sad and angry when I find out about any woman being abducted or attacked. It happens a lot and it is not always reported. I have felt safe when I travel; not because I have an entourage, but because regular people recognise me and look out for me if I’m getting disturbed.
Just goes to show that the safety of women is an issue that transcends class. Statistics reveal the disturbing truth — that more often than not, perpetrators are known to the victim. The accused should be given the harshest punishment to set an example for a deterrent to these crimes in the future.
We are fortunate we get to travel in guarded surroundings either with the team or security. But I wonder how I’d feel if I were travelling alone. There are hazards for working women in terms of unwanted male attention, eve-teasing, harassment. But it is best to take care of your own security. Don’t travel alone and if you do, please carry things like pepper spray to defend yourself.
I am wary when travelling up North. I have been fortunate to not have encountered any danger so far, but it definitely is a matter of concern.
I think this compels one to ensure at all times that a police verification and background check is done with people we hire. Women, especially, must take the highest precautions to ensure their safety before hiring people to work for them.
I have never felt scared or nervous. While safety remains an issue which is not looked at seriously by any association, this incident is an isolated one and shocking, of course. But this should not become the basis of the general safety of women and should not lead to us getting scared to travel alone. We have to climb new horizons and one-off incidents can’t pull us back. Yes, we have to always be alert, not as women but as human beings. Such are the modern times.
Honestly, safety is always a concern. That’s because of the way the world and the country is towards women. And as actors we have to be more careful. One thing I always ensure is that there is a person from production with me, usually somebody senior or the creative head. That way when the car breaks down, or the driver sleeps — which happened with me when I was travelling in a remote area in the Konkan, I am not stranded. It is very important for female actors to have someone with them. We need to be extra careful and after this, I will be wary of night travel.
It is terribly unsafe! How can you save yourself from someone you know and trust? No amount of pepper spray will help if a gang is attacking you. Whatever said and done, a woman is no match to a man in physical strength. I feel a woman’s safety is also the responsibility of those who are working with you. Also, chivalry goes a long way. Men can go a little extra mile to ensure a woman’s safely. If I employ a driver I will do a full research on his background. Nobody wants to do it because of all the extra work, but it is important. Also, after this, I don’t want to travel in the night!
I was shocked to read it in the papers. We trust our domestic and professional help a lot and this breach of trust has shaken us all. So, even though it looks rude, while appointing the staff their details should be given to the local police for verification. Also, employers should not reveal every detail of their life in front of the employees. At times, we get so comfortable with our staff that we forget that tomorrow they might leave the job and share one’s personal details with others. Mishaps occur without a prior notification. We can only learn and be more careful.
We as women are constantly facing dangers and it’s sad this has happened. Day-by-day such incidents are increasing against women. As an actress, I never ask for security because there are so many women like me who work in remote areas at times. More than asking for security from my producers or people I’m working with, I would urge the men in our nation to make our country a safer place for women.