Art & Entertainment

Somy Ali: I’ve Only Seen Shah Rukh Khan And Akshay Kumar Talk About How Women Need To Be Respected And Treated

Somy Ali opens up about the recent case of a woman, Priya Singh, who was almost mowed down allegedly by her boyfriend’s car. She feels male and female actors, both, need to speak up about domestic violence. She says only Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar have bothered to talk about how women need to be treated, and no one else bothered even to broach this topic.

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Somy Ali, Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan
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Recently, the son of a Managing Director at the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation allegedly tried to mow down his girlfriend with his car near a hotel in Thane. Talking about the plight of Priya Singh, who was victimised and attacked, reportedly by her own boyfriend, Somy Ali, who helps rehabilitate domestic violence victims through her US-based NGO No More Tears, says, “This is a universal problem and unfortunately someone who has been fighting this for 16 years, I do not see an end in sight.” She also talks about how actors and actresses need to voice their opinions on such important issues. She feels that no one besides, Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan, has ever spoken up considerably on the topic of how to treat women and respect them.

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While Somy Ali has been a constant advocate of women’s rights and has been fighting to get women who are victimised to get their rightful justice, even she feels that the cases in current times have increased a lot. She has been trying to stand up for many of the women who come to her NGO with their issues and problems.

“This isn’t like something which is frowned upon like smoking cigarettes in our era now, this is a heinous crime which literally takes lives. As I have always said, unless there are consequences to any crime be it domestic violence or human trafficking it will prevail as the perpetrators know they can get away with it. If this is happening in cities, we don’t need to assume what’s taking place with young girls and women in rural areas. For example, the two women who were raped in Manipur. Whatever happened to that case? What’s the aftermath in terms of consequences or justification?” she questions.

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She adds, “I haven’t heard anything which is proof enough that people do not care. Look, the bottom line is that unless people with power and clout don’t take a stand against domestic violence, things will not take a turn for a more safe and stable environment when it comes to violence in totality. Be it law enforcement, celebrities and politicians unless they take these issues seriously and take a stand nothing will change. The problem is that our society has created a huge stigma against even talking about it and this isn’t the case now, it’s been this way when I was a child and a teenager too.”

She says that platforms such as social media should be used to stop such traumatic events. “Nowadays people want their social media to be a happy place and they live in that bubble. They want to depict a life of happiness while there is nothing wrong with that, it’s not pragmatic. Thus, a balance is necessary. If someone for example, a huge star, be it male or female, were to take on this issue and take a stand against it, people would wake up and follow in their footsteps. It’s as simple as that, but I am amazed that only one or two South Asian actors have been vocal about this issue,” says Somy Ali.

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“In the US too it’s not much different, shockingly. The reason is that the concept of bringing this to light or discussing it is a huge taboo universally as somehow the victim has been made to believe that it’s his/her fault. I know this because I have been there and so has my mother. People with power are using it for all the wrong reasons and all the wrong people are in powerful positions. It would be refreshing to see female actors post something against domestic violence and even male actors. Thus far I have only seen Shah Rukh and Akshay Kumar talk about how women need to be respected and treated in a way that’s as good as placing them on a pedestal,” shares Somy Ali.

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She adds, “Aside from these two actors, I haven’t seen anything or anyone even bother to bring this issue to the forefront. How about conducting workshops and running campaigns against violence of any kind against all humanity? Do that and then you can post your selfie looking ravishing. They do not have to be mutually exclusive. I do it all the time. I still do photo shoots and I still post modelling pictures while I also post about my NGO. Everything doesn’t have to be a perfect picture in life literally and metaphorically. Because that’s being delusional and serving a layperson a delusional representation of life. We all have ups and downs and there is no harm in stepping out of your bubble and grabbing onto an issue and making it public. You don’t have to be a victim to take a stand against domestic violence nor does one have to be a rape survivor to speak up against it. It’s as simple as that. The world we live in now is all social media and the followers.”

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“I urge and request celebrities, politicians and anyone with a large social media platform to please take on at least one issue and raise awareness about it. That’s a good start rather than staying silent,” concludes Somy Ali.

It’s true indeed that many times actors and actresses refrain from talking about issues of national or socio-political importance. Only a handful of celebrities like Kangana Ranaut have always taken a stand and called a spade a spade whenever needed. The others always try to maintain their good image in front of their fans by not getting into unnecessary controversies.

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