Sanjay Dutt, who’s always spoken from the heart and seldom refrained from saying what’s on his mind, was once again in his elements at a promotional event for his comeback film, Bhoomi. Given the topical nature of his film, we asked the actor his take on the rise in rape and molestation cases in India, and whether he feels the country has become unsafe for women. Without mincing words, Dutt unequivocally stated that the country is no longer safe for women while also elaborating on what needs to be done to curb such violent crimes.
“Yea, the country is unsafe for women. It’s also unsafe for children. Look at what happened recently in a school in a Gurgaon. I think it’s shameful for something like that to happen in a school, with a 7-year old kid. You keep hearing about all these rapes and molestations taking place nowadays, and you wonder what’s really happening across the country.”
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Citing that education and a fast-track justice system are imperative to curb such violence, Dutt added:
“First and foremost, I think that people need to be educated about such things because that’s the root cause of all these problems. Movements like ‘Women Empowerment’, “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, ‘Save the Girl Child’, ‘Non-Violence Against Women’ need to reach everybody. I believe wholeheartedly in such movements because since a young age till now. I’ve always lived among women, whether it be my mother, sisters, wife, daughters, or coworkers. So, I think we should take a step forward to vehemently condemn such heinous acts, and a fast-track justice system needs to be implemented to hold the guilty responsible. For instance, it would be preposterous if the perpetrator of that child’s rape in Gurgaon would be taken through the regular, lengthy legal process, where his case would be tried normally in court, then he’d get the opportunity to keep appealing in higher courts. That’s brutality towards the victim. So, the need of the hour is a fast-track justice system for rape and molestation cases.”
Since Dutt has been one actor who has not only sustained himself for almost four decades in Bollywood, but has also been old enough from the 70s to witness the changing diaspora of the nation, he was the best person to quiz about how times have changed for women and children’s safety, and if such alarming cases, as seen nowadays, were reported with similar frequency when he was younger.
“I can’t say if the situation has become more unsafe for women and children in the past few years, but I can definitely vouch that things weren’t nearly as bad when I was younger. We used to hardly hear about rapes and molestations when I was younger.”
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Sanjay Dutt’s next release, Bhoomi, which also stars Aditi Rao Hydari as his daughter and his directed by Omung Kumar of Mary Kom and Sarbjit fame, deals with similar issue of rape and the precarious environment for women in the country these days. It releases on 22nd September 2017.
Image Source: T-Series