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HindustanTimes Mon,28 Jul 2014

‘Don’t blame item numbers’

Chetna Dua, Hindustan Times   January 19, 2013
First Published: 12:21 IST(19/1/2013) | Last Updated: 12:22 IST(19/1/2013)

Even as the country protests against the barbaric gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi last month, actor Chitrangda Singh says that sexual harassment is an equally common crime, that not many are paying attention to.

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“It is easier to prove rape than sexual harassment. During my research, I spoke to many HR managers who said that girls do complain, but ultimately have to withdraw because it’s difficult to prove it. But it leads to a lot of mental torture over time,” says the actor, who was in town to promote her film Inkaar, based on sexual harassment at workplace.

Having done a sizzling lavani item number in the film Joker, the actor refutes claims that item numbers propagate rape and disrespect towards women. “By blaming a song or a dress we are saying that the rapist was right in doing what he did,” she says, infuriated, adding, “In countries like Afghanistan, there are no item numbers and yet three-year-old girls get raped. Item numbers don’t give any man a right to rape a woman. Why should a woman compensate for sickness in a man’s head?” she asks.

Speaking of the casting couch in Bollywood, she says, “Yes it exists,” but adds, “You can always choose to walk away from such an offer and work with someone else instead. Relationships and friendships are consensual.”

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