Mallika Sherawat says she hopes to see a world where every woman is free from fear and lives “unshackled”. A day after the Supreme Court reaffirmed the death sentence in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, Mallika took to Twitter to share an emotional post about the ordeal women face in society.
Referring to the victim, a 22-year-old physiotherapy intern, Mallika wrote: “She had worked hard to free herself from the shackles of the rules that society often slots for its women. Her parents supported her every step of the way. But those who violated her questioned her morals, questioned her right to be out at night. Some even, post her trauma, dared to say she deserves it. Complete closure for her family might have to wait till those barbarians are hanged, but Nirbhaya’s soul is free today.”
The actress, a women’s rights activist, also talked of an incident in which 26 girls were saved from being trafficked. Mallika, who comes from Haryana — which once had the lowest female child ratio — entered the film industry much to the dismay of her family members. She says it was running away from home that gave her courage. “Stifled in a patriarchal family, I neither had freedom nor choice. I faced innumerable hardships because I dared to question and challenge the status quo. When I got a chance, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me and I survived. Today I stand on my own two feet and I decide how I live my life,” added the actress who has featured in films like “Murder”, “Khwahish”, “Pyaar Ke Side Effects”, “Welcome” and “Hisss”. The journey hasn’t been easy as she was called “enough names and treated in myriad ways.”
Women across the world are “buried under societal pressure, scared of the consequences, subjugated and constantly violated”, and are wanting to be free. For Mallika, it’s a changed story today. She says she wants to help end women’s subjugation. “Every young girl, every woman has dreams. Every woman who is empowered can empower another… I want to free every girl from fear… Let us fight to create a society where women live with pride and not with worry. Let us battle the odds to build a world where girls and women live unshackled.”