The recent case of rape in Delhi (where a financial analyst was raped by the driver of the cab she was travelling in) brought to light the precarious situation of women’s safety in the Capital, and throughout the country. In a chat, actor Akshay Kumar puts forth his views on the issue of women’s safety, and how Delhi — a city he was brought up in — has got a bad name because of such incidents.
As the father of a girl (two-year-old Nitara), how worried do you get when such incidents take place?
It scares me every day. There’s nothing that prepares you, as a parent, for the constant fear about your daughter’s safety and happiness. I know it’s my duty, as a father, to look after her, but I also expect my country’s government to protect her. It’s their job to make our streets safe. What are we paying taxes for if we can’t even step out without fear?
What do you think can serve as a solution for this situation?
We need to instil fear in men. We shouldn’t think twice before ruining the lives of men who commit these crimes. The punishment should be to castrate every person convicted of rape. Rapists are never one-time offenders, and no amount of time in jail will make them want to stop committing these crimes.
Do you think self-defence classes can help tackle this problem?
It most definitely plays a vital role, but that’s not the only solution. I can only offer protection and self-defence to a limited number of women, but what about the ones I can’t reach? It breaks my heart to think that when women leave the house each day, it can’t be guaranteed that they will return home unharmed.