"I have not made a startling statement. I think that was an honesty that I have come out with. I am not ashamed of what I have said because this has happened to me and I think the perpetrator needs to be ashamed for what he has done," BJP leader and a member of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Khushbu Sundar told ANI talking about her sexual abuse as a child by her father.
"I think I need to send the message across that you have to be strong and take control of yourself and not let anything bring you down or think that this is the end of the road. If I have taken so many years to speak about it, I think women need to speak about it and tell them this has happened to me and I will continue my journey, no matter what," she added.
The actor-politician recently spoke about her experience of child abuse at the "We The Women" town hall organized by Mojo Story in Jaipur. At 15 years of age, she started revolting against her father who then left the family in the lurch. "The toughest thing which took me long, not to forget, not to forgive but put it behind me and move forward was the abuse I faced as a child by my father. When a child is abused it scars the child for life," she said.
She also talked about her mother, who Khushbu describes as "having gone through the most abusive marriage." She further explained that her father was a man who beat up his wife and children, sexually abused his only daughter, and thought of it as his birthright. "Being a man, he thought that it was his right to do so. And when my abuse started I was just 8 years old and I had the courage to speak against him at the age of 15," Sundar added.
A BJP national executive committee member Sundar had recently been nominated as a member of the NCW, along with two others. Her appointment came in an official notification by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It said that the post will be for a duration of three years, or till the age of 65 years, or till further orders, whichever is earlier.
Sundar, who ruled Tamil cinema in the 1990s and paired opposite top actors including Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, later entered politics. Sundar joined politics with DMK in 2010. After serving 4 years in the party she joined Indian National Congress. She joined the BJP in October 2020, same day after quitting Congress.