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

  • So proud of her for coming out and saying these things. People don’t realize that women, even children have to deal with people groping us or blowing kisses at us ALL the time. Men simply don’t seem to get it! Most men i try to explain it to, look at me like i’m making it all up for attention, that’s not the kind of attention I want. People don’t realize how difficult it is for women to be on guard ALL the damn time. Simple acts of going to the grocery store, getting mail delivered to our door step, taking an auto, taking a bus etc, EVERY TIME we have to be fully aware of our surroundings, fully aware of the men standing next to us. Can you imagine how exhausting that is?

    The worst part is how unsafe we feel in our own city, places where we have been born and raised, but yet when we travel abroad we feel so much safer. I walked the streets of Bangkok at midnight with my mom,wearing shorts and NOT A SINGLE MAN looked at me! Why is it so difficult for Indian men to respect women in the same way? Are men in Bangkok made differently from the men here or is it just the way we are? Time to change!

  • I touch a woman, and get imprisoned for life!!! That’s harsh. Imagine dickheaded girls twisting the laws to blackmail. We already face that in 498A.

  • It’s THEIR shame not OURS !!

    I agree that punishing and setting an example is the need of the hour – but we need to get to the root cause too for a long term solution.

    I say let’s give up one holiday from our ‘business as usal’ lives and create H-O-P-E
    H: omes
    O: utdoors
    P: ublic transports
    E: ducation inst.

    Let’s visit the above and create awareness amongst teenagers about the ills of such acts.. because that’s really when innocence turns into an INDIAN MAN !!

    Breaks my heart to see that our WOMEN in our ‘MOTHER’land have to beg celebrities and powerful individuals to get what is their birth right – let’s join hands to ENSURE these basics !

    There is a powerful person in all of us – if we get together for this cause we can move mountains ourselves !

    Let’s create H-O-P-E

  • Very well said Shenaz! Mr Namo it’s of no use if you are becoming a hero in times square or sydney.. become a hero for the girls and women of the nation. Kill these bastards who play with lives and get away so easily. I know you don’t have a daughter but still I hope that you understand the pain and the enrage and the injustice happening to your country women who voted for you and please bring up with a law that saves them. I too agree this country is way too slow for good things to come to light but let’s stop being lazy that’s why you are here sir as our PM. Please do your job which also includes
    protecting our country women not just our country men.

  • This lady is absolutely right. People with sick mentality and those with no shame or respect for women should be hanged. Its high time that people started focussing on these kind of issues. This applies not only to Indians but to the whole global community as a whole. I stand by what this lady has spoken about.

  • Very touchy. Made me emotional. Being a woman, I’ve been through this groping, and teasing and harassments which these men think is their RIGHT. That has to be changed, whatsoever. Very strict and harsh punishment has to be implemented like you said, no doubts on that. But then, what makes me concerned is those women (minority may be) who take advantage of being WOMEN and put INNOCENT MEN to suffer. How can that be avoided? Tomorrow, when a law is implemented to take immediate action against men who misbehave with women, I fear, may be just may be, some woman can file a case against my father or brother or husband or son for sexually assaulting her, which could be a wrong story and my folks get punished severely. I am afraid!

    I think the first step we women should take is REACT when someone tries to touch us. I’m not talking about you, me or someone who does; I am talking about EVERY WOMAN. No fear, just react. Hit them if that’s needed. Don’t shy away. That CAN make a difference to an extent at least. And our families supporting us, then asking us to HIDE. And a law that protects US is very important too. And for that, the GOVT should bring in some rule where a character test is also included while hiring a police man or a politician or whoever we seek help from. Coz, these people also harass us in the worst form possible. And casting couch? Has anyone ever discussed about that?

    Anyhow, lets hope that all these trouble we are going through, especially that fear of getting raped any second which runs through every Indian woman’s mind gets addressed ASAP and we get a better place to live.

    Thanks for this open letter Shehnaz. Let’s hope that this could make a difference.

    Cheers
    DsJ

  • Rustom Jamasji We in India have a notion to pin the blame elsewhere. The root, the crux is never questioned but to make it easier on us, we require a scape goat. India has a huge population, to check each man and woman would require atleast 1/3rd its ratio of people to keep a check on the populous as whole. No Govt, no PM, no President and no magic wand can get one to do it. Here the question is of the culture, the mindset of the populous at large. And Let me shout out:- SADLY THE WOMEN POPULOU’S MINDSET ALSO SUPPORTS the mindest of these imbiciles that rape and grop…by their not educatiing their sons and husbands but having thre same mindset, and thus excuses for the heinous crime. So who is to blame for the culturally raped mindset..it is none other than us..including YOU..why..heres it

    1) The policing force of India is unprofessional. Reason is we, Including YOU allowed it to happen by allowing India’s most failed yet most reverred segment, the I.A.S. , the Indian Administrative Services to make the policing force in such a bad state by your unconcern over the years.
    They have chanelised the policing (and even teaching force) to be non condusive for professionals to join. Pay is peanuts, the IAS and poloiticians want yes sirs, they managed to get it only for one reason, we including YOU never ever once , the whole billion NEVER EVEN ONCE thought it important to strike against the idiotic policy of having people with the right atitute get the deserving pay so that we can get deserving service. Indian film stars have themselves misused the servises using their clout( during the natural disasters that struck n india recently, one of the hip jerkers thought he shoul;d be the preference of the armed forces to be rescued first!!!).

    2) When did the educated demand that police, teaching, medical,or any imp segment not be incuded in reservations n geting a job due to being a particular caste but only based on aptitude. Name once…did you participate in ane debate, blogs write up using your skills to debunk the IAS’s policy to have jobs reserved not on aptitude. If not you allowed this to happen.? In fact the educated too demand that they are in a certain segment and thus deserve a certain privilidge!!!..People in your own office, friend circles, collegues have used the reservation card for many a purpose though under a veil of secrecy and diplomacy.

    3) Coming to, where do you think the police force comes from, abroad, Mars, ?..it is basicaly a part of the larger segment that makes women demand dowri from their daughter in law, another woman.!!!! Comes back to the culture. Can the police change the culture, are they equipped to do so, is it what they should be trained for?

    More dangerous.
    The IAS wants to chanelise the last bastion of our freedom(including YOURS ) the armed forces into yes men. Just when 13 men died fighting terrorists in Uri so that they do not come to Bombay or Kashmir town, the politicians from 3 parties demanded to revoke the Armed forces special powers act, the same law that empowers army men and women who have families and sons to protect themselves to act immediately against bullets. Did any civilian inlcuding YOU fight for the amred forces personell, their widows or their kids. The armed forces have not got their due and men n veterans are dying due to old age , their dues sanctioned by the supreme court yet the IAS has not given it to them…..did you ever know, read, write or act on something called OROP?…No..well the connection continues in the legacy of “whats that” “why should i be bothered”, how am i concerned till the armed forces also become like an unprofressional policing force due to our(including yours) careless ness and pinning blame elsewhere and hope on filmstars( the biggest misusers of any facet)

    During Taj shoot out, Mumbaites acted in awe, upping even the British upper nose claiming what has happened is ridiculous.Why? are they daft that they do not know that the country has soldiuers dying everyday? showcasing war…well why cut out oneself from the reality and paste another segment i.e, only the armed forces as widow makers whilst the nation rejoices as if at peace? This may seem unconnected.but believe me every dot is connected….by the fact that it all lies undeserving of us to change, underserving our attention to make the change or stop idiotic policies from taking shape and only when they have taken shape due the the void of us dopinmg something,we all dmeand all and sundery but never act for, yet always pining the blame elsewhere.

  • I totally agree with the shenaz letter and the influence people stated on the letter take a stand , it would be very influence not only in rastrapati bhawan but also among the country.
    Death sentenced to the rapist is much essential to put example to those people who will commit those crime in future.

  • Sister what you say is true. Even i have four sisters i understand your feelings. With due respect to what u say, there are also some criminal woman’s who use this law for wrong purpose. So fair law should be brought so that no one can use this law for wrong purpose. Finally what i say that who ever found guilty should be punished severely, so that these crimes may not arise again.

  • Should we wait till our sister, moms, girfriends and wives get raped before we stand up to fight for the issue. Do share it, make this flame of candle a pyre for the rapist.
    Gentleman, in which ever age group you stand it’s high time you satnd up.

  • My sympathy to any lady has gone through the situation and shame on those idiots.

    But I still don’t agree that severe punishment would change much or going to make a big difference.

    Would Nirbhaya accused leave lady and her male friend alive if they knew, they’ll be hanged if identified?

    What is the guarantee that a lady tomorrow will not stand-up with all proofs to put a gentle man down to death for personal or monitory benefits.

    I am not disagreeing your statements, but that may not be the solution.

    Maximum surveillance to darker and silent areas, more active police patrolling and entry of more and more women officer will help us a bit.

    Overall if females in India want fresh breath and live fearlessly and freely, its the thinking and upbringing of men in India has to be changed

    Namo, AB, SRK, SRT can’t do it alone.

    Regards
    Anurag

  • Feels like voice of each and every women in India!
    Indian Women are angry and If THE strongest Men wont do anything, then every women will have to be equiped with a machine Gun!!
    Beware Men high time get up.

  • Make equal provision to punish the rapist as well as the false complainant. Medical procedure of rape laws need to be stringent also.

  • Dear Ms Shenaz,

    Congratulations on speaking up and setting a fine example to other women. Rape, molestation, oppression – these are not things women need to be ashamed of, and we must be extremely vocal about our experiences if we want to really effect change. Thank you for your candidness.

    Yet, I must ask you – someone who still has influence, even if it isn’t in the leagues of the Shah Rukh Khans and the Salman Khans of our country – to demand more than just “saving”. Start with prevention, because there is no cure to male chauvinism and patriarchy. Change the laws, yes, but these gentlemen you have addressed can do far more – they can change minds. Ask them to stop promoting sexist propaganda through their films and advertisements. Every time a Bollywood hero says “naa yani haan”, question him, because he subtly promotes the mindset that allows men to decide FOR women, even if the woman says no and means it.

    Rape and sexual harassment aren’t limited to women alone, and as you have said, it’s not the fault of those clothes. Men get raped, too, and women are capable of raping, even if our laws state otherwise. We don’t need men to save women – we need people of all genders to come together and see each other as human beings with the right to choose how they want to dress and whom they want to have sex with.

    I urge you to consider my arguments in your fight – our fight – to make this country what it should be – safe.

  • Its a shame for the country and such men shud be shamed in public . I dont agree with the death penalty.. they should suffer their whole lives.. feeling helpless n trapped.. like a woman does..

    I have one questions for Shenaz… This happens to nearly evry girl in d country and am glad u took a stand against it.. Why dint you do dis earlier.. y now.. just before your movie is scheduled to be released????

  • Genuinely and very truly described. I endorse this and request all the big shots mentioned here to please take this forward. Save Motherland by saving our Women.

    Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

    Please take the necessary and strict action against such kind of people. Only one punishment for the rapist, death penalty. Those who don’t respect women what will they have respect for the motherland.

    I urge all the celebrities to unite and take this step forward in order to keep the respect of all the women’s be safeguarded.

  • Sorry to read and its really disturbing.Such kind of acts leave back worst memories in life where the poor victim has to suffer for life.One should always remember every female is a mother figure, a daughter, a sister and ones wife hurting these figure a male is not counted as male but is not less than an a devil and a shameless breathing creature. Law and order should be emphasized. Seperat branch or division should be in charge only for handeling cases.Secury and safe should be the aim, where women can even walk back home at late night or early morning without being scared as they are aware that thier brothers are there to watch over.
    Regards,
    Aspi P.Olpadwalla.

  • Heart touching letter by Shehnaaz but appealing to men for protection & prevention ???? Shows women as the weaker sex.Instead inspire every girl to learn martial arts from age 3. Let them carry pepper spray. Make them capable of fighting back Let them kick the hell out of every eve teaser or molester they come across. Tell every girl under 18 to carry a knife and shove it into the balls of such men. Hell, the girls will be let of as they are juvenile. Tell the girls to grow up tough. But unfortunately in India, parents never teach their girls to grow up tough & instead they make them delicate and dependent on men for everything.

    You think Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Sharukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Anil Ambani will do something ? No they won’t ,they & their family members roam around with dozens of security men. They will not do anything unless there is money & publicity for their film or product.

  • I hate the slow process of India. Respected Prime Minister, Enough of Speeches. Kindly do some thing on this painful lacerating issue.

    Dear Shehnaz, thanks a lot for this letter. We all are expecting some other public figure to take a stand on this.

  • She’s right in many ways… But why this letter today?? Was she sleeping all this while? Her movie is releasing tomorrow…. Publicity gimmick???

  • Of course its not our shame…N you are courageous to share your thoughts and take your stand…we as women have gone through all such indecent incidences and yes its a SHAME for them..

  • Well said Shenaz. But instead of waiting for the good men in our country to protect us from the bad ones, or worse, waiting for the judiciary to do something (we’ll be skeletons by then), women could take justice in their own hands. If women could join hands to pack a punch or two, the perpetrators would cower away. They are, at the end of the day, cowards. It gives them pleasure to prey on (who they think is) weak.
    For long term changes, Narendra Modi ji, if this reaches you, remember change is implemented best at grassroot level. Bring education on gender equality to schools and to homes. Then each generation should grow to be better than the last. Then there wouldn’t even be any need to hang anyone since the whole culture of oppression won’t be there anymore.

  • On certain point I do agree with the Shenaz but there are some Males who will be affected even if they are not guilty. So it’s a need of time and the society to educate the people about the same and those who r really guilty punish them severally.
    It’s requires education and awareness among the residents of the society that it is a social responsibility of everyone and not of few individuals.

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