The Bhaag Milkha Bhaag actor on his initiative which combats gender inequality
Within a decade, Farhan Akhtar has emerged as one of the strongest voices of social protest from within the film industry. His organisation MARD (Men Against Rape & Discrimination) works relentlessly towards highlighting gender inequality. He tells us why he feels every endeavour to raise social awareness about gender discrimination deserves a voice...
Your organisation M.A.R.D. creates awareness about gender inequality. Do you think it actually prevents crime against women?
Every initiative is important, not just by me, but by everybody, by government institutions and NGOs. We must try to alter mindsets and change unjust legislations and rehabilitate victims of sexual violence. Our efforts would yield some result. It cannot be possible that we do not make any impact. It infuriates you to hear the kind of gruesome crimes that are perpetrated against women and children. At the same time, it also provides you with an impetus to continue working in whatever way you can. It’s time for everyone to get involved to change violent mindsets through music that I am creating, the films that I do, social media, etc. We’re trying to inspire more people to work towards a better society. It’s not enough to say, ‘I agree with you’. You have to be more participative.
What are you hoping to achieve?
An ideal situation where we don’t pick up the newspaper or turn on the news and read about crimes against women and children.
Think more celebrities need to take an initiative to educate the public on gender equality?
I can’t speak for what others should or shouldn’t do. It’s not my place to comment on that. But whenever I’ve asked any of my colleagues to come forward to give out a message or to support any event, they’ve gladly done it. Everyone I’ve asked to come forward, has done so happily. Not because they are my friends, but because they share my concerns.
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