As sex­ual vi­o­lence rises, Aditi re­vis­its play­ing a sur­vivor

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Shreya Mukher­jee shreya.mukher­jee@htlive.com

As re­port af­ter re­port comes out on women and chil­dren be­ing raped — and, in some cases, mur­dered — around the coun­try, celebri­ties are adding their voice to the col­lec­tive anger, and tak­ing part in marches.

We ask Aditi Rao Hydari, who played a rape vic­tim in Bhoomi (2017) and took part in protest marches in Mum­bai, about how it felt to be in the shoes of a sur­vivor, even if only on-screen. She says, “I felt hu­mil­i­ated and tor­tured. I was act­ing, but still I felt ter­ri­ble and suf­fo­cated. And I kept think­ing, ‘This is what many go through in re­al­ity.’” As for what should change in so­ci­ety, she says, “There are a few set norms be­ing fol­lowed against women that need to be changed. Chil­dren learn by example how the fa­ther treats the mother, or whether the men in the fam­ily treat the women with re­spect and vice versa. A real sense of ed­u­ca­tion, re­spect­ing equal­ity, dig­nity is im­por­tant.”

Talk­ing about the re­cent in­ci­dents in Kathua, Un­nao, and other places, Aditi asks, “Are peo­ple turn­ing into beasts? The wrong-do­ers should be pun­ished to set an example for oth­ers.”

The ac­tor also talks about the cast­ing couch, say­ing, “This is mis­use of power and it’s ev­ery­where. Work can’t be bartered for favours; ei­ther you have tal­ent or you don’t. If at all there is any kind of close­ness be­tween two peo­ple, then it should be con­sen­sual. I also be­lieve some­where that we girls need to say ‘no’. I know at times it’s hard, given that means los­ing out on op­por­tu­ni­ties, but at the end of the day, it’s em­pow­er­ing.”

I was act­ing, but still I felt ter­ri­ble and suf­fo­cated. And I kept think­ing, ‘This is what many go through in re­al­ity.’ ADITI RAO HYDARI AC­TOR

PHOTO: YOGEN SHAH

Aditi Rao Hydari, who played a rape vic­tim in Bhoomi, has also taken place in marches against sex­ual vi­o­lence

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