India’s young export to Hollywood, actor Freida Pinto feels sorry about the state of women’s safety back home. She also confesses that she dreads the idea of coming back, for she could be one of the many cases of sexual harassment reported every day, the latest and most shocking being the Delhi bus gang rape since which exactly a month has passed.
“Growing up in India, I remember picking up the newspaper almost every day, and by the time you reach the fourth and the fifth page, there’d be a little column in the corner that would be dedicated to a rape case that was reported,” said the 28-year-old in an interview to CNN. “And the sad part is that those rape cases are just reported, and there was no follow-up after that. It kind of made me wonder as a girl growing up in India if forever as a girl, I would have to live in the fear of ‘this might just happen to me’,” she added, recalling how her mother was once kicked in the chest by some men on a delivery bike, during her India days.
Freida, who has played a victim of sexual violence in two films — the award-winning Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and more recently Trishna (2011) — feels the fire of the protests should stay alive if any change has to be brought about. “It’s not going to happen overnight, and we are not going to be idealists about that. It’s going to take time. We need to keep this fight alive,” she says.