Lonavala: Actress Rukhsar Rehman feels all the violent sexual abuse cases reflect “animal behaviour” and says she gets worried about the safety of her 22-year-old daughter whenever she steps out.
She feels worried to the extent that she says people should stop giving birth until things change in the society.
“I feel that now no one should give birth because of how the things are currently. The things we are listening at the moment… I don’t watch news or read news. But my mother-in-law updates me with the news,” Rukhsar told IANS here.
“Be it the rape case in Uttar Pradesh or Kashmir or Pakistan, as a mother and as a woman, it haunts me. My girl is 22, but still I get worried when she steps outside. I get scared.”
Rukhsar has featured in shows “Kuch Toh Log Kahenge”, “Tumhari Paakhi”, “Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya”; and films like “Sarkar”, “God Tussi Great Ho” and “Shaitan”. But many remember her for essaying role of Pakistani embassy receptionist in Rajkumar Hirani’s “PK”.
Recalling her childhood, Rukhsar said: “While we were growing up, there was one person who looked after us. But there is not even one instance when he touched us inappropriately. But today that’s not the case. We don’t know what is the problem. It is very difficult to pin point one thing about what has gone wrong.”
The actress says campaigns like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana won’t help, until the mindset of the people change.
“It is animal behaviour. I was part of a play called Nirbhaya.
“It was testimonial theatre. So, when we started doing the research, met Nirbhaya’s parents and went into the detail of the incident… We could not believe that human beings could do something like that. After knowing it in detail, I started hating everything.
“You can not trust anybody with news of a father raping daughter making headlines,” she added.
The actress got married at the age of 16 and conceived her daughter when she was 17.
“My paternal grandmother got married when she was 10, my mother got married when she was 15. My sister was married when she was 19 when most of people started thinking that she won’t ever get married.”
The actress says her paternal grandmother has been a huge influence in her life.
“She was a strong, powerful, smart and way ahead of her time. She divorced my grandfather because she didn’t want to go to Pakistan. My grandfather took my father — who was the only child. So, my grandmother went to Pakistan with her brother and kidnapped my father and brought him back to India,” Rukhsar said, adding that she hopes to write a book on these experiences one day.
At the moment, she is busy with the Star Plus show “Mariam Khan — Reporting Live”. The show tells the story of eight-year-old Mariam and her quirky tale and creative mind. It will start beaming on the small screen from May 21.
On the show, she said: “There are many layers to the story which will unfold with time. It is about how an innocent child looks at the world and how it is in reality.”
The actress says she didn’t have to prepare much for the role, but found shooting away from family a tough task.
“Something I prepared myself was shooting for long hours and not seeing my family for days. It was the thing I had to really make up my mind.
“It becomes difficult sometimes because they maybe not miss you because they have their own life. But you miss them because you miss spending time with them, doing normal stuff and household chores.”
(The writer was in Mumbai on an invitation from Star Plus. Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)