Gauahar Khan called upon a press conference to speak her heart about the incident. She said that she was hurt and shocked but also emerged stronger than ever. Gauahar Khan, who was slapped by an audience member for wearing a short dress while hosting the grand finale of ‘India’s Raw Star’ on Sunday talked to media about how she is feeling.
The attacker reasoned that being a Muslim girl, she should not wear short clothes. Post the incident, celebrities took to twitter to lend her support. “I thank my family, friends, fans, media, TV industry and film industry for all the love and support. I assure you all that I am hurt but not out. I am shocked but more determined. I felt injured but stronger than ever,” Gauahar told reporters in Mumbai.
The actress hopes the accused, identified as Mohammed Akil Mallick (24) and who is currently in police custody, will get punished for his offence.
“This loser doesn’t represent my beautiful faith which in itself means peace and submission. He apparently attacked me because I am an actress. He wanted to send out his warped message. I am using the same status to appeal to all women to stand against such acts.”
Gauhar Khan says, “I can still feel the fire on my cheeks. I am here with a swollen face not to gain sympathy but to bring forth the truth.”
“I have always stood up for many issues and I am not one to keep quiet. But why on earth did God have to choose me to be part of such a ghastly act?” asks the actor, teary eyed.
She paused for a while and continued, “…why would I have any sympathy for the assailant who carried out the atrocious act? The law should take the strictest of actions, he should pay for what he has done. By no means can anyone raise their hands on someone else.”
“Ours is a democratic country; being free does not mean that we can hurt another person. A person might not like women wearing short clothes, but who will decide the limitations? It can be a Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Christian or from any other religion…if anyone dislikes anything, we can have a dialogue…but just imposing your opinion by slapping a woman is not permitted by any law,” she says, adding, “It is the fundamental right of each to live the way we want.”
“If he is let off, then many incidents like these will surface across the nation. The fact that he dared to take such an action reflects on the lenient laws that exist in this country. No woman can feel safe as long as people like him are roaming around freely,” she says.
On the mixed reactions that are coming from social media, Gauahar appeals to change their mentality, “I feel sorry for those who are appreciating his act, their upbringing is certainly questionable.” She quotes a comment on social media, “I liked a comment which said, “Agar woh chote kapde pehnti hai, toh use bolo ki who apni choti soch ko badle’.
Gauhar adds it is not about religion but it is about small mentality, “It is not about Islam or about small clothes. It’s about small thinking and mentality of people who look down upon women as slaves and objectify them. If you have an objection about my clothing sense, you can write to me, talk to me; but you certainly cannot hit me. There are avenues for everyone to express their views but one cannot infringe personal space and get cruel.”
Gauhar said that soon after the incident, she continued the shoot as it was live and she did not want to spoil the show and let the guy win, “I was shocked and scared and it took me a while to gather my head and guts. But ultimately I realized that if I didn’t go back on stage, I’d let the guy win. Not coming back was not an option.”