Preity Zinta, an actress and IPL team Kings XI owner is in news for having filed a complaint against Ness Wadia, her ex-beau and co-owner of the team for grabbing her hand and abusing her at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on 30th May during a match between Chennai Super Kings and KXIP. All sorts of print and visual media are telecasting her case as “breaking news”. This high profile case of molestation and abuse has become just another trending news of discussion. The molestation case has evoked different reactions from different groups. Some are considering it as a desperate publicity stunt in order to save her dwindling popularity. They are commending her for standing up for her rights and protecting her integrity. As it always happen that women who are courageous and attempt to fight against injustice meted out to them are often looked down upon with suspicion.They are systematically ostracized from the society and often threatened. In all cases- rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence or harassment at workplace, majority of the people start blaming her for being educated or her dressing sense as a cause of such incidents. Social media is even taking pleasure by tarnishing her character and doesn’t mind getting overboard to insult Preity. Caustic comments have been posted on various social networking sites, holding her responsible for the entire situation.Twitter users called her an ‘ungrateful woman’ who got the IPL ownership of Kings XI Punjab because of Ness Wadia and even blamed her for staging the abuse to ‘return the favour’. Such abuse comes even before a proper investigation has been done to arrive at conclusive findings. However, people have not waited for such an investigation to take place and started attacking her. Till the matter gets resolved legally, it is not morally right to resort to character assassination of the complainant in such sensitive case. But Preity Zinta must be applauded for having said that ‘No woman likes to be involved in a controversy like this which makes her open and vulnerable for all to take a dig at. I have worked for over 15 years in the film industry and have never been subject to such humiliating behavior and for that I really want to thank all the men that worked with me. Through all our highs and lows my head was always held high.’ Why should a woman be a victim of detestation and abuse if she has the nerve to raise her voice against the crimes committed on her? Moreover, one revelation in this case has made that violence against women is not restricted to those who are uneducated, poor and helpless. Any woman no matter what her educational qualifications and economic status are but she can be affected by crimes such as molestation, harassment or rape. Very often a woman’s reputation and that of her family is at stake; a woman is restrained from reporting an instance where she has been subjected to mistreatment. This in turn leads to a very casual approach in dealing with cases of ill treatment against women that is why such grave offences like domestic violence and rape are becoming so common in our society. This kind of mentality demands an immediate attention. This implies a no-tolerance policy against any form of injustice and discrimination. For this dream that seems utopian today, we must resolve to speak up for ourselves so that it becomes a reality tomorrow.
About the Author: This article is contributed by Kudrat Agrawal, our Intern.