Shenaz Treasurywala’s Open Letter to PM, Bachchan, SRK, Salman and Aamir!

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. It’s 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 dress’s 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-mom’s bathroom after. That feeling never went away.

Shenaz Treasurywala

Shenaz Treasurywala

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 couldn’t deal with it. CAN YOU?

When I was 15, I started going by train and bus to St. Xaviers’ 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 don’t 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, don’t 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, didn’t 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 dress’s 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 Sophia’s 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 wasn’t equipped to even understand this. I was LIVID. I’m sorry sis for telling the world this, please don’t stop speaking to me. IT’S NOT Our Shame. It’s 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 didn’t 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 ISN’T HER SHAME, it’s 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, IT’S NOT Our Shame, It’s THEIR SHAME.

Why am I telling you my personal story?

Well first I want all women to Speak Up.

Let’s make this our MOTTO-

It’s not OUR SHAME, it’s THEIR SHAME.

Who are “THEY”?

“THEY” 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! It’s 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 friend’s 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??

Let’s 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. Isn’t this a SHAME? SHAME ON YOU SIR.

This is our NO1 issue. FIX THIS before anything else.

This is a SHAME. And it’s 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 won’t 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 that’s 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.

I’m ready to do anything. I’m 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)

SAVE US!

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.

Don’t sleep till you – SAVE YOUR WOMEN!

With all respect,

Shenaz Treasurywala

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690 Comments

  • @vajir. Sad to speak, Mr. Vajir, of your self righteousness. You seem to justify such behaviour and leave the fault on the victim. It’s due of this mentality that we are still where we are and our sisters are afraid to even trust us. Take responsibility for your action and don’t put the blame on the victim specially when they are girls. And do have atleast some decency when you describe a lady like the way you did in your comment.
    My Dear Shenaz,
    Sorry on their behalf. And don’t get hurt by such rude comment. You are beautiful and your thought on such serious issue is even more beautiful.
    Thank you.

  • It’s high time that some strict action to be taken against these rapists. It’s spreading all over India because there is no punishment even after getting solid proof. It was very rare in Kerala earlier, but nowadays rape and murder is becoming very common. Let us all unite and move against these anti-social elements.

  • Very true!! There must be some changes in the law, security system and punishments limits. There has been an incident in guwahati, Assam. The young lady writes that she was groped by 2 men while walking back to home through one of the mainstreet of the city in bright daylight. Unfortunately, it was drizzling and the street was almost empty. Now, had there been CCTV attached on every street light pillar, those culprits would have been behind the bars. I recommend installing CCTV on the streetlight pillar on every main streets and busy byelanes and paths in the country. I know those CCTVs will be found broken in the very second day but there must be some solution to protect the CCTVs. Come on, if there is a will, there is a way. JAI HIND!!

  • I read few comments on this post. Really appreciate the courage of Shehnaz mam also appreciate those people who are against these kind of act. Now I have a question to all those so called man who said that girls should not wear seductive dress, should maintain their limits etc. etc.
    Otherwise the girls will be trouble or the worst situation they will be a victim of a horrible crime called rape. The question is what if your sister,daughter or a lady your family is wearing a seductive dress or have male friends or goes for party will you rape them. Sorry for my words but we need to understand that it’s not about the kind of dress a girl is wearing it’s about the kind of thinking we all carry. When I see a beautiful girl I will definitely praise her beauty, her looks, her charm but never rape her.
    So the moral is change your thinking.

  • hats off to this lady for speaking up and exposing this shame —-
    but how does all this uber rush of testosterone come about ? it certainly was not there 20years ago—or was it?
    could be the burst of liberal moods depicted on billboards, hollywood, gentlemen magazines , kamasutra culture etc , continuously, revolving and evolving to the point where if the shorts get any shorter they wont be worn any longer….. couple this brazen imagery with block buster selling violence shown in just about every bollywood movie you spawn a pretty sexually aggressive society.
    since money is the core motivation behind this shame , the media and government must have a serious rethink about morality and the way they chose to portray the image of a woman….. and by virtue ( actually vice) of being such phallic rulers of society should by example be the first to check themselves into rehab for sexual addiction.

  • It is good that you were asking for strict rules, but what about the kind of movies have you done, in one of your movie( actually I don’t remember the name) you were playing a lecturer role having sex with student. Correct yourselves also .

  • It is good that you were asking for strict rules, but what about the kind of movies have you done, in one of your movie( actually I don’t remember the name) you were playing a lecturer role having sex with student. Correct yourselves also .

  • Hats off to you shehnaz… these anti social elements have no right to be alive. Bcos of our judiciary system only these elements do not think twice b4 commiting such criminal activity. They know some or the other twist in law and they will be aquitted.

    I strongly oppose the current judiciary laws which we follow for crime related to our mothers,sisters and beloved ones.

    DEATH PENALTY IS THE ONLY SOLUTION TO CLEAN THE SYSTEM.

    Our life is infested with such anti social elements bcos there are no stringent laws in our country.

    SIRS, as addresed by shehnaz, its time. You need to take just ONE step. REST will follow.
    I am proud to be a part of this REVOLUTION.
    “IF YOU RESPECT YOUR LIFE, LOVE YOUR LIFE, RESPECT A WOMAN.
    DONT FORGET, A WOMAN GAVE YOU THAT LIFE”

  • Shenaz,
    Today, you, as a somewhat celeb had the courage to pen your thoughts! I salute you for this and may be this may be taken up by the so called powerful men you mentioned. However, remember instead of you, if it was a ‘common’ girl or woman penning her thoughts, it may have drawn some attention (specially in today’s circumstances!) but no more than that. In any case, you mentioned that you walked safely in the streets of NYC with your shorts and T shirt etc. and came back safe unlike an unsafe Bandra. Remember, India still comprises of more common masses of boys and men whose adrenalin get trigerred when they see a girl less clad. I now living in Canada, am still an Indian father of a 21 year old daughter and till date caution my daughter to cover herself up completely when she steps out in Toronto. The only reason being man is a man is a man everywhere!! In Canada, most people are used to seeing skimpily clad women and so it does not cause that much of a concern. However, In India, boys and men are ‘starved’ and even the policemen or policewomen, basically coming from common places, carry the same Indian mentality (i.e. “if a girl clads less, she deserves this”). Rules are all in place today but the rapists get away because of a system lapse and somewhere the Indian society still blames the woman for anything untoward. It is this mindset that needs to be changed and no PM or AB or SRK etc. can ever change it.

  • YES!!! Please change the law and make it very strict. Make it the worst punishment of all for the rapists. How can they just grope or rape a woman when they want to. It’s so easy for them. No actually the law in our country made it easy for them to do this so easily. SHAME SHAME SHAME.

  • No doubt it is a matter to be solved….
    According to me people who do this should be kept in a small glass cage and kept in open public for sometym so that they can really understand how does it feel to lose the self respect…. request to all those who walk with a thought of such behaviours towards women…. just think from their prospective as well… it might be a joyful moment or an adventure for you but for that person or girl it is a lifetime bad experience and a sour memory that will always remain in their head and curse you till their last breathe…

    Why just the people with political powers and stardom, we all should unite and take a step ahead to a better tomorrow…
    Request to all the parents as well… this is your fault as well
    Its your responsibility as well to teach your children how to behave and respect girls around.

    I just read this post and felt real bad… even i know few frnds who hav been thru all these things… and trust me its really a bad feeling when they cry in front of u telling their stories… yes .. stories… coz it happens with them alot of times…

    Every girl is beautiful and beauty is to be respected, not to destroyed…

  • I agree with you totally shenaz and my heart goes out to you and all the women who have went through this hell. It’s high time that these so called demigods of our country behave like 1 for once in their lives before they die.

  • I am also in agreement, punishment to the culprits such that they should never do such dirty cheap thing ever…

  • Sorry to hear what has happened to you and your near once but what u have to say about those womens who files the fake complaint in a police station their families suffers by this and later their is no one to take their responsibilities so demand hang till death for those women’s too…!
    Its easy to stand near by rape victims but about those who lost their dignity in these fake rape victims (especially their families)
    .
    .
    .
    Eagerly waiting for your take…!

  • It’s an appeal for justice… the heart rending story of many women in our country. Hope this letter reaches to the ones whom it is addressed.

  • U rock gal. I’m sure each n every women in country is facing this issue. Yes, surely death sentence to the rapists but what about gropers..?? Half of the time little gals don’t even understand what happened with them and they don’t tell their parents believing its their SHAME.
    These gropers also need equally horrible punishments since we have cctv camera on most of the places now.

  • Thanks for writing this..but you r too innocent to write to those men “of influence”!…
    But this is becoming of national character of Indian men…yes this includes out brother fathers sons …so save yourselves from this notorious reputation…save yourselves from this SHAME of coming from rapist country!

  • No use asking these politicians and celebrities to take a stand or action as they too are part of the gang and have received payoffs or are partially involved at some level. It is the common person and you need to take action on the spot.

  • I really salute for your stand…keeping quite for these issues will create a bigger problem for all d women in india…really need to spk up ….

  • I agree for a better law & faster act as well.. justice delayed is justice denied

    Yes, severe punishment will have some control on such incidents but it will not change the thinking of such sick ppl around us… need to address and aresst te issues from roots.. movies, media, internet and system all are responsible for it. All ads irrespective of type of product has a model to attract buyers..Why?? In our country wherrin women are worshiped as goddess we still see woman as a source of pleasure or a reason for attraction & triggering sales…. Movies with item numbers are reason for good box office collections… Songs like Gandi baat are big hits and we expect these illiterate ppl to change their opinion about women… Bhabhis in families are like our mother and now there are movies with such names which gives a wrong impression to society.. there is lot to add but first let’s bring change in our house / families and then expect society at Large..
    Respect women !! Thy are one of the strong reason for our existence…

  • Good education, including respecting all women is the Key to cultivate the healthy mindset. The Parents play very important role, specially father.

  • I am totally with Shahnaz on this. Every Indian girl and woman has experienced such bitter experiences, and not just once, but many times. And its true that when we women walk on streets, we do feel insecure and have to stay alert. A very basic right like a carefree walk is not met many times.
    Shehnaz, there is only one celebrity who is using his fame and popularity for a cause and that is Ahshay Kumar. He is the only celebrity who is using social media to reach command man. Not only women safety, he s highlighting other issues too.
    Women safety has to be addressed. It’s high time.

  • I don’t think that any woman n any country wud have never been touched incorrectly or groped. Every individual has to stand up for herself and to bring awareness i cmpltly agree that the likes of big B n SRK etc will mk a huge positive impact. But for them to knw how horrible it feels they hv to experience it only then they can speak it with heart. Until then God save these groping men from the wrath of God himself.

  • t is her reaction to be so livid angry but until the mindset shift in thinking + respecting women as ‘ humans ‘ doesn’t come nothing is ever going to change ! our PM Shri Narendra Modiji – NAMO can not do much except make NEW Laws or stricter punishments is meted out to offenders nor can Shri #Amitabh #Bachchan do much except send strong messages via his Blog, films etc
    Ditto for other celebrities ! They are on top in society but the REAL problem is in those ‘ dirty minds ‘ who look & enjoy female & take undue advantage on sly.
    I hope #Shehnaz #Treasurywala will calm down & start working to up root these evils herself by working @ grass root levels.

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