A long way to go for women’s rights: Farhan Akhtar

The Asian Age.  | subhash k jha

Entertainment, Bollywood

The actor and filmmaker believes that having a celebrity status comes with responsibility towards women in the society.

Farhan Akhtar

As part of a social campaign MARD (Men against rape and discrimination) Farhan Akhtar has been relentlessly addressing the issue of women’s safety. He believes that enough is still not being done in this endeavour. “It’s never enough!” he exclaims. “There’s always room for more measures to ensure women’s safety. Every day the crime rate grows. Do I feel frustrated and bitter? No, I’d rather focus on finding further solutions, rather than crying over issues that plague women. We’re making progress; maybe they’re baby steps. The problem [of sex crimes] is growing larger, and we’re unable to keep up with the pressures of coping with the crimes.”

Farhan adds that celebrities are now more responsible about what they say on the issue too. “I understand just addressing the issues is not enough. We need to go much further than that. But the constant debate has also brought into focus the issue of public utterances made by celebrities. Fortunately we’ve reached a stage where men need to think several times before they make any comments on women. Thankfully the days when celebrities shot out statements flying freely and careless around, are over. At least now there is a certain amount of restrain, responsibility, accountability and dignity in the way men in the public eye must speak about women. That according to me is a radical change in the attitude.”

The actor feels that words such as ‘rape’ are no longer permissible as metaphors for trauma. “Many words were used to victim-shame. Related to this, I am glad a film like Pink brings forward these issues.”

Speaking on celebrities addressing social issues Farhan opines, “It’s really not enough anymore to say one is here only to entertain and not reform society. That’s just an escapist attitude. The celebrity status comes with a responsibility. However I really wouldn’t want to comment on what others do or should do in this regard. I can only speak for myself. To me it is very important to be a socially responsible citizen of the country while working in my various other capacities as actor, filmmaker and singer.”