Mumbai no safe haven for women: B'wood actresses post gang-rape

Mumbai, Aug 26 (IANS) Calling the recent gang-rape of a woman photojournalist in Mumbai a "wake-up call", Bollywood's actress brigade, including Shabana Azmi and Juhi Chawla have, said the city isn't safe anymore and that the incident has sent a "shock" down everyone's spine.

Here's what they had to say:

Shabana Azmi: This ghastly incident is a wake-up call for all Mumbaikars who revel in calling our city the safest in India. The new rape law has not instilled any fear because of lack of faith in law and order. We need to tackle rape at many levels. There's a deep-rooted misogyny, and sexual assault is used as an instrument of control and power so that women are denied freedom.

Juhi Chawla: Till now I was always proud of Mumbai. It was always vibrant and yet safe. Buzzing with activity at all hours, alive and throbbing with excitement. This news comes as a shocker. I hope the victim will be healed and fine. I felt worse for the fact that she is a photographer, so she may be connected to our film industry. I can't imagine how painful and traumatic this must be for her and her family.Very tragic.

Lilette Dubey: Shocking, shocking, shocking. We always took pride in Mumbai for being safe for women. But it looks like even after the Delhi incident, we've learnt no lessons. Such is the nature of the beasts that it won't change. The anti-rape laws are not detrimental enough. I'm almost tempted to believe castration is the only solution.

Pooja Bedi: Mumbai is definitely not going to be a safe city for women if we don't send out a loud, stern warning to potential rapists. We need swift sentencing through fast-track courts. The harshest and severest punishment must be meted out to these rapists.

Reema Kagti: I don't feel Mumbai or any other place in India is safe for working women.

Richa Chadha: The issue is not where it happens, but that it happens at all. The problem is with the Indian chauvinist male, who believes any woman stepping out of the house is meant for him to use and abuse - be it a student or a working woman. Let's not lock up our girls, let's teach the boys some manners. And let's have strong laws in place that act as a deterrent for these beasts.

Sophie Chowdry: When I moved from Mumbai to London I felt proud to say I'm living in the safest city in the world. Today, the joke is on me. I'm shamed at what is happening in Mumbai. For an atrocity of this magnitude to take place in broad daylight is shocking. Rape occurs in every part of the world. But it seems most gruesome in India. What fuels these attacks is the lack of fear for the law. Mumbai is not what it used to be even five years ago.

Gauhar Khan: It's getting riskier by the day to stay in Mumbai. The city had a reputation for being safe for women. But with a shameful incident such as this, women would think twice before moving around freely. I hope Mumbai becomes safe for us again.

Dia Mirza: The question we should all be asking ourselves is not about Mumbai alone. But is India safe for women? Our men need emancipation. Our laws and the conviction for crimes against women need to become much more stringent and timely. Men who perpetrate crimes against women should be punished swiftly and severely.

Raima Sen: So far I thought Mumbai was safe for women. But now after this incident I am not so sure.

Raveena Tandon: Mumbai is not safe for women. So far I felt it was because of the growing number of slums in the city. But crime against women is on the rise for no given reason. I don't think it's safe for a lone women to travel in Mumbai on public transport after dark.

Urmila Matondkar: "It is very disheartening and extremely upsetting. But why should we restrict our concern to Delhi or Mumbai? Anywhere in the country measures should be taken to secure the safety of women."

Gauri Shinde: I don't know what to say or feel any more.I am shell-shocked. This is not the Mumbai I knew. What has happened to the city?

Celina Jaitley: I can't believe something like this can happen in my beloved city. No matter where I went in the world, I used to so proudly speak of Mumbai being one of the safest cities in the world for women. Now comes this horrific incident. I am appalled and disgusted. Now when I look back, I shudder to think back to all the times when I dropped my young hairdresser at the nearest cab at 4 a.m. after packup.

Neha Dhupia: This incident should wake up the spirit of Mumbai.And we should in some influential way punish each one of the criminals. An incident like this makes me sad and angry no matter where it happens.

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