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

  • For most part I agree but why blame Uber?? This makes no sense. They are here to provide an awesome cab service, not to keep a check on the psychopaths who out judicial system have acquitted for their crimes.

  • I em happy tdy dt atleast smone has cm up to say our grief. WOMEN SURVIVE IN INDIA !! N NOT LIVE IN INDIA!! . Its juzz nt abt DELHI or MUMBAI . It so happns ol ovr d country. I live in Chandigarh n evn I hv faced ol ds crap. N not juzz me. Ech and evry gal in Chandigarh is a victim of it. I em a medical studnt n daily I wait for my institute’s bus at d bus stop n d ppl who pass by dy pass commnts on me. Dirty , cheap , disgustng commnts . N yeah lemme mk it clear , dos ppl include UNCLES too. I mean our country is juzz a place of shit to live in. The shitty ppl outdea. D way dy luk. Evn if I go to d market behind my hm, boys pass commnts , do actions n wot not…. As Shenaz di said dt she always wanted to hv a machine gun to kill dm ol. Its not only ur DRM di. Ech n evry gal wants to own a machine gal n kill dese kind of ppl. D biggst reason of such ppl grwing in our country is ILLITRACY…. Our prime minister is dng alot for our country … SAFAI ABHYAN !! MAKE IN INDIA !! n wt NT bt cnt he mk d females of INDIA feel safe in dea own country . Once I was gng to the doctor wid my dad . We were in the car , at d traffic lyts , d car nxt to me was honkng alootttt. Juzz to luk wt happnd I turned my face left n d guy on d drvr seat shwd his middle finger to me ( sry fr using dis kind of words in the public) but I wana tell u ppl wot ol v gals hv to go thru. Once I was in my car waitng fr my mom to cm . I was busy listening to d music n suddnly a guy opened my car’s door and askd me for my number. COMMON !! I EM NOT BLOODY SAFE EVN IN MY OWN CAAARRRR…. LIFE IMPRISONMENT!! shud b tkn as a strct order for d ppl who cant respct gals . Who misbehave wid dm. Who touch dm n wot not. I em 17 nw. N my parents dnt allow me to wear skirts or anythng of sort juzz cz ppl stare n pass commnts…. I mean why cnt I. On a hot summer day I have to cover up my self frm head to toe before mkng an exit frm d house. I hv to b bck at hm b4 6pm
    RESTRICTIONS! RESTRICTIONS! RESTRICTIONS!! WHYYYYY…. Cnt boys chng dm. Wt do dy gt aftr dng ol ds. 16th December !! D damini case. Ppl protested . Candle lyt march . Sooo many speeches were gvn. Skul studnts protested on road. Rallies were tkn out… Juzz TL me wot happnd??. Nthng!!! NTHNG!! no law was passed. No action was taken against such men. There’s not evn a single day when I dnt read a RAPE HEADLINES in d newspaper. Daily ! Daily drs sm or d odr baby gal, teenager gal, lady, evn old ladies gettng raped….. Still no strct action is tkn againt dm . Wot u ppl thnk ?? Will ever a rape victim be able to live a simple life. No nevaa. Aftr spoilng a female’s lyf d men rome around hea and dea widout being punished . Dy shud b hanged till death…. Cm gals lets join our hands together for makng our country a bttr place to live in. We gals wana LIVE IN INDIA and NOT SURVIVE. Its our country too. We want justice. We want our ryts. I em juzz 17 n wt I thnk is dt I em small enough to brng a change . I dnt hv any powers bt yes I vl brng a chng. V vl brng a change….

  • Its high time to implement strictest punishments for these rapists , sexual offenders and gropers. This would create fear in the minds of these sick men who dare to do. If India has to take pride in her ancient civilizations ,then surely we should learn to respect women first.

  • SALUTE TO YOU….. this is what our women should be like… total RESPECT. .. ALL PLEASE SHARE THIS AND LETS MAKE IT AN ISSUE ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE PEOPLE. ..

  • Male:25
    This is your view. It is calling for extreme and I do not say that it is not justified.
    But the people you are calling out for are just too smart to get involved without any self incentive. Did the ever speak up anything during SHINEY AHUJA case? No.
    There is absolutely zero e-material available about the consequences.
    Farhan Akhtar: Brand Ambassador and Promoter of MARD: did he ever quote Shiney Ahuja. All they said was, matter is sub-judiced and they cannot speak up anything on it !!
    Just a mockery of it being, Shiney Ahuja’s wiki page reads “He is Philanthropist”
    Are you really calling out for these people for help ?

  • Thank you for writing this Shehnaz. It felt like I was reading an excerpt from my own life. This was part of my everyday from age 11-16yrs until I left india. I used to have to take the bus to classes at Bombay Central during peak hours after school and the busses used to be so jam packed I didn’t even know whose hands were touching me. I don’t live in india anymore, but even when I’m visiting, the thought of climbing into a BEST bus still makes me physically ill. The only difference is that instead of imagining a machine gun, I would imagine a huge knife with which I could slit their mofo-ing throats!

  • It’s a fact. Our motherland is not a dafe abode for women to exists. Mentality of men towards women need to be changed.stringent punishment with no bail can be the only solution.

  • Shenaz, what you have highlighted is so very true & gruesome fact of our society.

    Many guys in our “society” consider “groping” as (I Quote from familiar social circles) “utilization of handy resources”.

    Yes!! Believe me.

    It’s an unsaid/unwritten fact.

    I have heard this statement been passed among “men talk”.

    The way our society is moving towards “modernization”, we need to have strict laws in place.

    Look around across the globe, Singapore, US, Australia, all “developed” countries, you have strict laws codified and implemented.

    This is the need of the hour.

    “Groping” has persisted in Mumbai since ages.

    I remember days during my engineering college days (1992 to 1996) when many of our friend used to cry after reaching the classrooms complaining of getting groped in trains “video coach in Mumbai central line local trains”, buses, in queues while getting in the buses (where the person somewhere at the back GRABS the women’s breasts just in front of him), auto rickshaw queues (elbow touch) etc etc.

    So, I join you in your request to the established men in the society to force the government to pass requisite laws.

    ** Nilesh Roy | nilesh@nileshroy.com | IT Professional from Mumbai **

  • The situation is alarming in our country. We have all witness the horror caused to Nirbhaya but it is regretted that inspite of the strong protest all over the country and condemned by leaders all over the world, our politicians & judiciary are numb, deaf and dumb to put into account stringent laws against rapist & molestation caused to womens and childrens in our country. Unless and untill strict actions is taken against all such demons, and the lesson is learnt by all, no women or child will ever feel safe in this country…. ITS SORRY STATE OF OUR COUNTRY… and its more regretted that people who are empowered & can take steps to improve the system are just turning a blind eyes.. assuming that its night everytime and time to have a sound sleep.. no matter who screams, cries and dies beside their pillow.. GOD knows when we shall see the day of light.. when we and our children will feel safe on this earth…..else feeling ashamed of the growing atrocity, eternity might struck compelling Almighty to end this world……R U Listening Mr. Modi.????

  • life imprisonment? Why should our taxes pay for their food and care while they languish in prison? I too am leaning towards permanent castration. But barring that – how about a visible tattoo that says “I am a rapist”? Or something along those lines. Also Shehnaz while these men are powerful… I have to say that the most powerful men and those who MATTER in my life are my husband, brother, father. If our own men could step up… It would make a world of difference.

  • Firstly, when i read, felt very bad. Thanks for being honest and u r words. A big Salute. Strict rules should be implemented. Why should we as women feel so unsafe in our motherland?! This is very much true. Y should??.. Y Y ??

    Also, this should start with initiation and gradually time changes it. MEN should behave properly.. Man this is very much important… lets respect woman and their freedom.

  • Why should ALL MEN be ashamed of the actions of SOME MEN?

    Screw you and your generalization. Understand that there are plenty of men out there who do care about women’s rights, who do want stricter laws, and who do genuinely want the situation to change. Writing an angry letter on the internet, where majority of the offenders are not likely to read it, is not going to help. Nor is blaming every man.

    Honestly, I’m sick of being asked to feel guilty and to feel ashamed of something I have never done and will never do. So, with an honest heart, I saw screw you and screw this over-generalization of a letter.

  • I believe every woman in this country have been harassed or molested at least once in her life. She’s right women need to speak up now and shouldn’t be afraid about how society will react. Bullshit with the society who can’t see our tears and bullshit with the Indian culture which teaches woman to tolerate everything and men to be a demon. I’m not proud to be ab Indian and I’m not proud of this culture.

  • Two Things should be inculcated in the INDIAN System:
    1. Enforcement of Strict Laws and
    2. Inculcating Strict Moral Values to Children right from a Tender Age.
    3. Making them Emotionally Strong
    4. Teaching Girls / Women how to deal with such dangers and
    5. MOST IMP** to Teach Boys / Men how to protect themselves from such a filthy behavior.

  • Do u think life imprisonment or Hanging anyone will solve the problem. If so then why Di we still have murder and other crimes taking place. Its all about human mentality. The only way to solve this problem is by educating ppl. Instead of telling our girls to dress properly, we should educate our male kids to respect women. Really feeling sorry after reading this letter, even I am a male member of this society.Shame on all.

  • SHAMEFULL WOMAN. I had immense respect for this lady. But just because her movie is about to be released, she is USING such a sensitive issue. SHAME ON YOU SHENAZ….I am heart broken.

  • India has 1.3 billion people on a landmass one third the size of us…..300 million out of them can’t read and write….just as death penalty has not prevented murder from taking place it won’t prevent rape too….let’s stop comparing our country to the west and try to educate our children to be safe and responsible and let’s not let this pseudo liberal fake modernity make India even more unsafe for women….and one more thing….advising women to be safe is caring….it’s not anti feminist.

  • Shame on you guys who are still talking about the way she dressed or dressing. Seriously what the fuck is wrong with you? she started her letter on how she got groped while she was a kid. The guys who are talking about her bra lesss dresses do you guys think that she developed her lady parts while she was groped as a kid? You and your mind set im sick of you guys seriously. You can are those kind who can never accept your fault and just put it on girls for something wrong you have done. Stop saying that you are a MAN. What if shes wearing short clothes? It means she likes wearing em NOTE IT it DOES NOT mean that shes asking you to feel her body. You and your narrow mind thinking im finding no parliamentary words to describe your way of thinking. Just shut the fuck up instead of talking dog shit.

  • A big thank u shehnaz for writing this letter and explaining our plight..hope something is done abt this issue soon..

  • its really bad an it should be avoided by creating youth camp and ngo should work with government ,,, make aware of bad thing and social evils

  • Toady not a single female i know , has not encountered physical assault or molestation in their life. from 10 year to 60 year i know personally has been groped, eve teased molested or even raped. Why is it taking so much hesitation to punish such heinous act. even if i walk down naked, no body has the right to molest me or rape me. Blaming our clothes, lifestyle is the most lame thing to do. Who are these men who molest and rape- are they humans, civilian-do they have family- are their family into the business of raping molesting!!! why a boy is not told or taught how to behave, sit, talk with people.
    Supreme leaders, even i as a civilian request you all to think about it and make difference.
    I totally agree, today no other issues , business development, international relation or any thing of that sort is important than addressing the safety of other half population.

    No only females, but recently, i have come to know that even small boys are being molested. What is wrong with u people!!! This sick mind is like a disease and immediately needs treatment. Living with fear of being raped everyday is not a good feeling, not healthy feeling.

    And very rightly pointed out, it is their shame- we need to make them realize that.

  • She is absolutely right !! It’s not shame , she is so authentic , we really feel proud have a celeb like this who can feel the pain …I don’t know , whether big people will act to this or not , but personally I pledge If anyone happens to misbehave with a woman in-front of me , I will make sure , he is not going away with it too soon,too easy ….I ll make my immediate environment a safe place for women …I respect my manhood , and I am not letting any sociopath breaking that virtue ….thanks for this Shenaz…

  • Its definitely not YOUR SHAME, its OUR SHAME.
    But still i am not giving up hope of bringing in a change.
    I still have faith that we have more of gentleman in each of us than a bastard.
    My request to at least who read this article, “behave yourself, you are produce of this fine nation.
    It is your responsibility to maintain her honor”

  • I’m a 21 year old girl. I’m really not clear about the laws on rape and molestation. They should definitely be punished, but the least I can wish for in the current scenario is for victims to speak up strongly and the accused to be tried as soon as possible after the incident is reported.

    I specifically want to express my views on two things:

    1. Girls wearing short clothes and who drink are inviting rape

    I like wearing dresses occasionally. It’s a good change from the usual casualness and definitely gives me happiness. Do I want to be raped? No. Obviously not. Do people stare? Yea, they do. Does that bother me? Yea, to an extent. But does any of this give anyone the right to touch me or bother me physically or abuse me? Never.

    It’s my choice to wear however short clothes I like and drink how much ever alcohol I want to. As long as I’m not going and bothering another individual, he can not make any move against me. You don’t like my clothes? LOOK AWAY. I also don’t like your faces. But do I carry a little bottle of acid with me and throw it on you every time you throw ugly glances at me? No. I could, but I don’t. I look away. Why can’t you? In any case, no one should be able to come and try to take any dignity away from me. I want to feel safe. Hence, I might not go out for late night walks in shorts. But I wish I were able to if I wanted to. I wish men in general would realize that the fact that they are stronger physically is NOT so that they can use it ON us. Protect us if you want to, if you have any sense of responsibility. But if not, at least don’t showcase it by using it on us, degrading yourselves to mindless animals.

    2. Banning cab companies

    As compared to other transport options available late night, I feel really comfortable in cabs. Cabs are covered unlike autos, have proper navigation systems, are convenient (you don’t have to walk a kilometer to the main road to get an auto, cabs just come and pick you up). If the rape had happened on a government bus, would they have banned it too? People are just missing the point completely: we need to address the issue of men’s mindsets. We can get raped in our own houses too, let alone cabs. We need to punish these men appropriately, make them realize they can’t afford to do such a thing, instill fear in their minds and make them respect our bodies and minds.

    I wish someone like Shenaz will be able to convey something to the country. We need change. Change in laws(I’m sure), change in arrangements to help victims of sexual abuse, change in our own mindset and change in men’s.

  • The presence of celebrities on social issues can elevate the issue to a very high level & bring lots of public attention.The efforts by Shenaz to bring this into the notice of the superstar figures of our country is a great initiative.Many ladies might be passing through such traumas everyday in India & its high time that the authorities take a stand on this matter (from police constable to the rank of an IPS officer), because if the public feel that the judiciary will not allow such sexual harassment to happen, that will motivate them to jump into action.

  • For rapists they shouldnt be hanged bcause one time death s not enough. Should cut their thing first and kill them daily with the torture. But all should be done once after the proven medical test.

  • Thank you for bringing up this point and becoming loud and clear … I appreciate your approach and honest attempt to help our people.
    You know what this is most required for solving this we have to fight for the rights, they day majority will start becoming loud and clear with the points it will be fixed. Now in current time few spoiled people both men and women are misusing the benefit of our social silence. Some of them are taking advantage of our toll-rent (tolerant) mentality. Few awake people are also there who are becoming judgmental
    at every incident. Our most urgent need is to create awareness about the becoming loud and clear. Differentiate the criminal and the victim. Trust me Our society is always there for the help to Victim only problem is communication, victim should not get criminal feelings and criminal should not be shown as victim. And i can see the change started coming with more and more such incidents coming in knowledge. We only need to be careful about the difference between the Criminal and the Victim….

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