Preity Zinta is just back from a two-month sabbatical in the US, straight into the vortex of the gangrape incident in Mumbai.
Preity fumes, “Is there anything left to be said or done? Haven’t women like me who are supposed to have a clout and a voice said it all during the Nirbhaya incident? Then what happened? Nine months have passed and the bastards who did it are still to be sentenced. How can rapists be discouraged if they know the law takes its own course?”
She derides the custom of covering the culprits’ faces with a black mask. “Why are rapists allowed to hide their faces? They should be forced to show their faces to the public. We need to look for remedial solutions to the horrendous atmosphere of uncertainty and fear that women have to face.
Otherwise we will become more and more self-centred. We’ll react to a crime only when it happens in our home.”
Preity feels it’s time for drastic measures. “Fast-track courts are not working. Maybe special courts to try rape cases are the solution... I think a better solution is to try offenders in crimes against women outside the courts and then just get rid of them? I am sorry if I sound radical and too drastic. But the time for pleasant ponitification and dainty legalese is over. We need to take stock of the situation now. ”
An immediate rectification in the situation would be admissible if rape and crime against women become a state issue. “How much can the Centre bear? Let the safety of woman be a state issue. It’s time to bring changes in governance. What we are witnessing is the death of the system. Only a miracle can revive it.”
She blames the shoddy quality of political leadership for the state of law and order in the country. “How many of us actually vote to choose our leaders? Do you know, in the slums television sets and alcohol are distributed on the night before elections. Do you think the poor can think straight and vote for the right people when they are lured like this?
And let’s face it, the definition of the common man has changed. We are all the common people. Some of us may think we have a voice because we’re celebrities. But how much does that voice really matter? During the Nirbhaya case I spoke to so many people in power.
Everywhere I was stonewalled by five-year plans. Arrey yaar! In five years there will be 500 other awful crimes against women, one more gruesome than the other. Are we supposed to just give up and pray that those close to us don’t get affected? Or are we supposed to hold a candelight vigil and then return to our normal lives? I am quite lost on this issue now. I don’t know what to do.”