Considering the rising awareness on sexual abuse, harassment and abduction and with so many incidents of sexual assault coming to the fore, veteran actor Adnan Siddiqui recently took to social media to voice his concerns regarding the issue.
“I’ve recently read about a few cases of sexual abuse, harassment, abduction and street crime across the globe. They’ve been on the rise in the last few days,” wrote Siddiqui on his official Instagram handle. “There are quite a few female journalists in India who’ve come out and openly spoken about various kinds of abuse they’ve faced or crime they’ve been subjected to.”
The actor also shared that though he kept quiet regarding various incidents of sexual misconduct that have been occurring around the world including Pakistan, the issue was bothering him and it was time to pen down his concerns.
“While some of them took a really long time to speak up, I must say, it’s a very brave step. I think it requires immense courage to speak against such crimes. We’re progressing and growing then why not work towards making the world free of sexual abuse and harassment,” he asserted and urged women to raise their voices if they find themselves in any uncomfortable situation. “If you notice/experience anything that’s not favourable, or if someone tries to abuse or harass you, please speak up. By keeping quiet you’re encouraging the culprit to continue with what he does. If today God forbid it’s you, tomorrow it would be someone else.”
Siddiqui further went on to say that he is concerned about the women who are unable to raise their voices against sexual abuse due to certain pressures. “I feel we must empower women to speak up against a crime they’ve been subjected to. Instead of putting allegations on them, trolling them, we must be empathetic towards them. Help them heal. Help them come out in the open and nab the culprits. Help the world become free of any abuse and harassment. Women are the torch bearers of tomorrow. I’m reminded of these lines by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, ‘Bol, ke lab azaad hai tere, bol, zabaan ab tak teri hai…’”
Ever since allegations surfaced that media mogul Harvey Weinstein had harassed and assaulted dozens of women during the course of his career, thousands of women have echoed similar experiences with workplace harassment and sexual assault.
The latest Bollywood stars to speak up are Tanushree Dutta and Kangana Ranaut who came forward with their #MeToo stories detailing accounts of sexual harassment at the hands of their male colleagues and co-stars.