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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Yami Gautam recalls slapping and teaching a lesson to a man who touched her

Actor Yami Gautam is happy that public figures are openly talking about harassment and sexual abuse, as that would encourage other women to be vocal about their personal experience.

bollywood Updated: May 29, 2018 16:11 IST
Shreya Mukherjee
Shreya Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
Actor Yami Gautam feels stricter laws and their proper implementation can help make society a better place for women and children.
Actor Yami Gautam feels stricter laws and their proper implementation can help make society a better place for women and children.

Actor Yami Gautam is happy that the #MeToo campaign, highlighting sexual violence and abuse against women, is gaining momentum across the globe. Eminent personalities around the world have been vocal about it, and have shared personal experiences ever since Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct in October 2017. Many more offenders have been publically shamed since. Yami says it is “these conversations” that will eventually make a difference.

Read| Yami Gautam on facing a low phase after Vicky Donor: I felt wary of going to public events

“I know about the #MeToo campaign and casting couch. Fortunately, I never faced it or [known someone] who has, but I feel for those who went through such incidents. I am glad that the conversations have started. I agree that when a public figure speaks up, everybody around gets encouraged to come forward and talk about what has happened to them. That, I think, is very important,” says the actor, who played the character of an independent visually impaired girl, who becomes a victim of sexual abuse in Kaabil (2017).

Escape the routine and breathe the air of new places...#sundaymoments 🎒🕶

A post shared by Yami Gautam (@yamigautam) on

While the 29-year-old hasn’t faced harassment in the film industry, she has, like most girls, been at the receiving end of it on the roads. Yami recalls an incident from her time growing up in Chandigarh. “Like any other girl from a middle-class family, I used to take a rickshaw to attend our tuitions. Since winters are usually challenging in Chandigarh, roads would often be deserted. I remember on one such day; I slapped a man. They were on a bike, and one of them passed comment and tried to touch my hand. And as soon as I slapped him, they just zoomed off. Now when I think about it, I don’t know how I did it. Maybe that was my lucky day. Otherwise, I don’t know what would have happened.”

Yami, who made her Bollywood debut with Vicky Donor (2012), feels that only stricter laws and their implementation can curb such crimes. “The offenders should be punished. They should know that they can’t get away with it. When Kiran Bediji [retired Indian Police Service officer, who is now the Lt. Governor of Puducherry] was stationed in Chandigarh for a very long time, the city was clean of such roadside romeos. So, I think stricter laws, honest officials and proper execution can only make the world a better place for women and children,” says the actor, who is currently shooting for Uri and Batti Gul Meter Chalu.

Interact with Shreya Mukherjee on Twitter @Shreya_MJ

First Published: May 29, 2018 16:11 IST