Dear Narendra Modi, Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Anil Ambani,
I am writing to YOU specifically because you are the most powerful and influential MEN in our country.
I am writing to you as a woman who grew up in a middle class family in Mumbai.
I am writing to YOU for HELP!
My parents may not like me saying this. I apologize to them if they are reading but this is NOT MY SHAME. Itís THIER SHAME.
My first experience with the opposite sex, was when I was just 13 and groped by a man (never saw his face but will never forget his hand) while walking in the vegetable market with my mom. She had just given me the worst haircut and as an angry teenager I was upset at her and was lagging behind as she walked ahead. I still remember what I was wearing. It was her dress, mustard with flowers and little bow in the front. How I hate that dress! As if, it was the dressís fault.
I was shocked at first. Speechless. He disappeared. I just stood there. Tears started pouring out of my innocent eyes. I told my mom who went mad screaming in the market but who knew where that man disappeared to. I still remember the dirty feeling I had and the number of times I showered in my grand-momís bathroom after. That feeling never went away.
Since then it was non-stop. I would try to articulate this to my parents and while my mom understood, my dad and uncles told me I was imagining it. Maybe they just couldnít deal with it. CAN YOU?
When I was 15, I started going by train and bus to St. Xaviersí College. I was groped and touched and from all angles and this was just how I grew up. Not Just Me but MOST INDIAN WOMEN who donít have the luxury of cars and drivers.
As a teenager I would dream of and still sometimes dream that I had a machine gun and could kill all the men who tried to grope me. A very disturbing dream for a kid, donít you think?
I got my first assignment as a model in the FYJC and I had to go to screen-tests straight from college. So I had to dress nice, didnít make it any easier. I specifically remember the time I went for an audition in a red body suit and a black long skirt with slits. It was HELL! I never wore that again. As if it was the dressís fault.
I developed ways to defend myself, I always carried a bag in front of me, my fist was always clenched, I always turned around every 20 seconds to check who was behind me and a few times I slapped men who touched me, I got slapped back many times too. Sometimes saved by the public, MOST TIMES NOT.
My mom begged me not to pick fights with men who touched me, she was afraid of acid being thrown at me or that somebody someday would hurt me badly. She is STILL AFRAID and today she told me not to take an UBER to my meeting tomorrow. Hell ya. BAN UBER! Make everyone take responsibility for this.
My sister got into Sophiaís college, we were all excited. She went by bus but the first day she came home, she sobbed traumatized. A man had put his hand in her tee-shirt through her sleeve, the entire bus ride. She just froze. She was a kid too and wasnít equipped to even understand this. I was LIVID. Iím sorry sis for telling the world this, please donít stop speaking to me. ITíS NOT Our Shame. Itís THEIRS!
One of my friends in college was RAPED on the train on her way home in the ladies compartment. She was sick and was going home in the 11:15 break. There was nobody in the first class compartment going back to Bandra at that time, it was a superfast meaning it didnít stop at most stations. He raped her and then jumped off after using her scrunchy (hair tie) to wipe himself. She was the only one on the train and had to limp her way back to her home in Bandra, bleeding profusely. She was just 16. This she felt was her shame so she did not say anything to anyone.
BUT IT ISNíT HER SHAME, itís THEIR SHAME.
My mom accompanied me to Hyderabad on a shoot once. In churi bazaar, a cyclist groped My MOM. My dear respected and lovely MOM.
Sorry Mom, ITíS NOT Our Shame, Itís THEIR SHAME.
Why am I telling you my personal story?
Well first I want all women to Speak Up.
Letís make this our MOTTO-
Itís not OUR SHAME, itís THEIR SHAME.
Who are ďTHEYĒ?
ďTHEYĒ ARE THE MEN IN OUR COUNTRY.
Not just the rapists and the sexual offenders and gropers but also our Fathers (sorry dad) and Uncles and Brothers and MOVIE STARS AND CRICKETERS AND POLITICIANS for not SAVING US or PROTECTING US by insisting and protesting for the LAWS TO CHANGE and Rapists and Gropers to BE PUNISHED SEVERELY!
Why do we as women have to feel so threatened? WHY has there been no severe action taken? This has gone on for years now. Not just in Delhi but all over our country and yes even in BOMBAY OR MUMBAI OR Whatever the hell you want to call it! Itís NOT SAFE. NO!
My biggest fear ever since I was kid and even today when I walk back home at night from yoga or when I take a rickshaw from a friendís home is being RAPED. I still feel that fear. I am still am on guard. I still fantasize of having that MACHINE GUN.
In the past 4 years I have been living and working half in India and half in New York and let me tell you I have walked the streets of Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn (perceived as the most dangerous in NYC) at3am after parties in short skirts and felt safer than I feel in Bandra at 10 pm on a quiet road fully covered. WHY??
Letís talk about Delhi our Capital. I was there 2 days ago and the day of the rape. I wanted to go out and walk by India Gate and admire our great monuments but could I?! Why??
What good are all your speeches in the US or Japan or AUSTRALIA- NAMO, if no woman can walk freely in the streets even in broad daylight by herself in the CAPITAL OF OUR COUNTRY. Isnít this a SHAME? SHAME ON YOU SIR.
This is our NO1 issue. FIX THIS before anything else.
This is a SHAME. And itís YOUR SHAME. You are now RESPONSIBLE FOR US.
I beg all of you fine gentlemen that I have addressed to help change the LAW.
You are powerful men. I say, SHAME and PUNISH THE Gropers and Sexual offenders severely. KILL THE RAPISTS.
I wonít ask for public castration which is what I want and all the women want because I know this is unrealistic and things move SO DAMN SLOW in our FINE NATION.
All I ask for is the -Death Penalty Please. NOW! QUICK!
If thatís too hard or will take too long then at least LIFE IMPRISONMENT.
Put them away forever.
Why was this man who had raped twice before out on bail?
And then given a drivers license? YES, BAN UBER TOO. Make everyone responsible.
Iím ready to do anything. Iím not a big enough celeb but you Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Sharukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Anil Ambani SIRS- need to speak up as MEN ( you are the men with the power)
Please demand the Death Sentence for the Rapists.
NO BAIL. Just Death.
Superstars I beg you, please take a stand. Use your Superstardom and Power and MONEY and save the women of our country. SAVE US!
I urge you to protest or go on a fast or do something DRASTIC so people take notice, the government wakes up and CHANGES the LAW so these men are terrified to touch us.
Death to rapists. No bail. Just death.
Imagine Amitabh Bachchan Sir, Aamir Khan, Salmaan Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Ambani- if you went on a fast or walked to the Rashrtrapati In Delhi. If you, took this stand and made this YOUR NO 1 issue, how much change there would be?!
Why should we as women feel so unsafe in our motherland?!
Why should we as women be terrified and on guard all the time.
Why was this man out on bail after committed two rapes already ?
Make an Example Of Him.
Any man who even touches a woman should be imprisoned for life.
Be strict, make examples of these men, scare those who dare to touch us.
SCARE THEM BY MAKING AN EXAMPLE OUT OF THEM.
SAVE US, Save your mother, daughter, sister please!
This is NOT OUR SHAME.
THIS IS YOURS.
SHAME ON YOU.
Donít sleep till you – SAVE YOUR WOMEN!
With all respect,
Salute this lady. Hats off
my sympathy goes to shenazz and all the women who r harassed by some men who blv that harassing women is a show of mardangi!!!
btw @to all I request to all to read the related article ‘ letter to salman by tarn adarsh’
it’s a must read
Touchy! No words to explain my feelings after reading the above lines.
Certainly, the absence of a stronger law against rape is the root cause as these rapists get encouragement from our impotent law system. They know that they will be imprisoned for max of three years and in most of the cases it ended up in few months as well.
vry outstanding letter.. these rapists should be crushed by elephants or their head shud be butchered and tied on any tower nd dat tower shud be known as THE RAPISTS’ TOWER
Beautifully written. It’s high time we enforce brutal punishment to convicts. The Nirbhaya case where the teenager got away scoot-free with just 3 years of punishment had shook the nation. But the judiciary didn’t amend the rules.
This incidence should at least awaken the department. The shocking part about this criminal is the fact that he was charged of Rape and Molestation in 2011 but still he was working in Uber.
The involvement of celebrities comes really handy here. One statement by Shahrukh, Salman, Aamir, Sachin, Big B and the media promotes it for 1 week. If this is the way of enlightenment, nothing wrong in it. The end result, I feel is more important. At the end of the day we want our daughters, sisters, mother, wife to be safe and secure.
She is damn true m in australia but m 100 % agree with her a big revolution has to come in indian justic ..f***ing rape everywhere..m in full support to her ..
Seriously death sentence …u kidding me..on very first day of this law atlest hounds red of thousands Indian women will claim for being raped..just to settle score…phyco lady..I don’t know why indicine per one such stupid things..
If she dresses like this, no wonder people would try to touch or rape here. She wears braless dresses to some events. I think she was once caught without panty too….
SO THAT GIVES ANY PERVERTED A RIGHT TO TOUCH HER? what is it to men what we wear? like all MEN are fully clothed under or above?
dont make a fool of urself. the rating is a proof of where you stand.
While I agree that Shenaz has every right to protest and want to make this a revolution.. I hope women are a little more careful too, until the mindset of Indian men changes and the laws become more strict.
Lets take the Uber incident. The girl was drunk, sloshed and dozed off in the cab. Wasn’t she inviting trouble? If she was awake, atleast she could have defended herself?
Drink, have fun, do whatever you want to do.. but when you are travelling along in a city like Delhi at 11PM, the least you can do is be awake and in your sense.
This is not just for girls, but guys too. If you get drunk and sleep in the cab you might be robbed and dumped somewhere.
Even if she goes naked in public you have no right to touch her. It’s every individual’s choice.
Going by your logic, “If you wear a sleeveless shirt one day, it means that you’re inviting other men to grope, molest or touch you!”
@Gaurav, if she goes out naked in public, she will be raped. Rape is illegal and so is going out naked in public. I dont think Indian laws allow walking naked on streets or making love in public.
“If she goes naked in public, she will get raped.”
CARE TO EXPLAIN THIS STATEMENT!!!
Yes. She will get jailed if she goes naked. But it’s the judiciary who should decide that.
And how do explain rape and molestation of 3 year old kids? Do you mean to say, the 3 year old was at fault because it got raped?
Gaurravv… weren’t you the same person who criticised media victim Shweta Basu Prasad in yesterdays article? Today you are defending Shenaz?
Wow. I hope this get noticed in a big way.
The most silliest thing being said in the name of precaution is, with regards to recent case, is how women should note down taxi number, send sms to 3-4 close people, keep always alert and blah blah..
I mean what the heck, is it practical, and why should only women do this, why not nip such things in the bud?
The system is just like puppet, and we need some movement to fight against this, and any movement that involve powerful people will have a great advantage.
The next important thing is children being kidnapped. Little kids who doesn’t know anything are forced to beg after they are maimed and limbs removed and what not done, and nothing is being done. Every day several children are kidnapped all over the country.
When you read such things you don’t feel ashamed of this country.
Let us hope, pray and work towards a better and safe society for women and children in our country.
@mohd vajir I m sorry to say but ur mibd is polluted with regressive thoughts. wt if tmrw u go to a bazaar wearing a short pant and get groped,teased
by girls of ur locality?
Sorry, in my last comment, it should read as
“When you read such things you feel ashamed of this country”.
V want our king to stop making movies and kill rapists.. it will be a relief for movie lovers and also for ladies
I agree with @ vajir
first of all stop wearing seductive dresses no one gonna see u no one gonna tease u simple…?
I am all for death sentence for rapes, but Shenaz is begging for imprisonment even for people who touch girls.. The problem here is, the court has to sentence a convict of a crime.. How do you prove that a man touched a girl? Remember consensual is allowed.. Can’t a woman who has a grudge against a man, simply accuse him of molesting just to take revenge and ruin his entire image, career and life?
I agree women are going through tough time in the country.. but in imposing strict laughs to curb crime against women.. the laws can’t take action against each and everyone. What about those men who are genuinely innocent.
To give an example.. what about men like Akshay Kumar in Aitraaz? Will men get justice if a woman molests? It’s a possibility !
@Neeraj. Yes. I do feel that wasn’t a great thing to say against Shweta.
My point was different there …. But, I sincerely apologize for some of the remarks. They were quite insensitive. It’s always good to apologize for bad behavior and turn on a new leaf :)
What you are saying is a universal problem. Not just in India. India can learn from countries like Singapore where strict laws are followed but rarely misused.
Salute to her.You need guts to come out in open and vent your anger.Stars should at least speak about these incidents in social networking sites to create awareness among their fans
I find it so hard to believe that this kind of disgusting crime still occurs in a country which has given so much to human civilization and culture.
Punishment by death? I know we people are very angry against the social evil who destroy innocent girls’ lives. Their punishment should be as severe and cruel as possible. But if such a law is passed then these 2 things are sure to happen:
1. The rapist will think “If I leave her alive then she will lodge a complaint and I will be hanged.” And he will kill the victim.
2. Any woman would blackmail any innocent man to marry him or else he would be accused of rape and hanged till death!
In extreme cases like Nirbhaya, I support death penalty, but in cases where the crime has no sure evidence, such extreme punishment is bad.
Only bhai will help her
provocative dressing and skin shows in movies shud b disencourgd then v can cutshort tiz kind of problms upto 70%
one day am busy in studyg and doing other gud thingz but aftr watchng a song video kuch kuch hona laga and it altrd my mind and i went out thank god all ladies wre well dressd so they were safe
@fake name vip I couldnt understand ur 2nd cmnt.y will any woman blackmail any man to marry her otherwise he will b accused of rape??
plus death sentence for rape is only being asked for cases where the case has been prooved against the guilty man
Great open letter by Sehnaz just after Shweta Basu’s FAMOUS letter… CHEERS to these ladies…
I too agree that all those idiots should be punished severely (hang them on the streets) but my sincere request to these beautiful ladies and all Indian women to follow true Indian customs and traditions and not the western culture…
Be a True Indian
India government should with immediate effect step up with a more drastic measure to combat this rapist things, it’s becoming outrageous