The incident of brazen mass-molestation that took place on the streets Bangalore on New Year's Eve has left the entire country in a state of shock and horror. The level of shock keeps increasing with more incidents and accounts of sexual assault being heard and read about.
While our elected representatives are busy blaming women, their clothes and their lifestyles for such horrific incidents, actor Akshay Kumar's video message comes like a silver lining on a black cloud.
The actor took to Twitter to condemn and express disappointment over the shameful incident about which he said he learnt once he returned to the country with his family after welcoming the new year in Cape Town.
"The Bangalore incident makes me feel we are evolving backwards, from humans to animals, rather beasts because even animals are better! Truly shameful," he writes in a post.
The Bangalore incident makes me feel we r evolving backwards,from humans to animals,rather beasts coz even animals are better!Truly shameful pic.twitter.com/FJwJ80Mkby— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) January 5, 2017
In his video message, he says, "I do not know how you felt after learning about the incident, but my blood boiled. I am not just saying it because I have a daughter, but a society has no right to call itself humane, if it cannot respect its women."
"And you know what is worse," he says, is the fact that "some people even have the audacity to justify such incidents".
Stating that it is not the length of women's clothes, rather the people's mindset which is to be blamed, the actor also has a word of advice for women.
"Never think that you girls are any less than men. You can very well be worthy of taking care of yourself. Be alert, learn self-defence. With techniques like those in martial arts, you can ensure that no one can ever touch you. And next time someone advices you about what to wear, ask them to keep their advice to themselves."
While he says things which have already been said and heard innumerable times, such a message by a public figure is needed to make women feel better about the world – and still have some hope in such hopeless times.
It is needed in the present scenario when women are not safe even within their homes.
What we look forward to is a similar message from our prime minister – who is a pro at delivering messages to his countrymen. Things then might at least start looking better.
But it is high time we stop merely speaking about it and listening to people's opinions. It is time to take responsibility and act. Now.