New Delhi: Sitar player Anoushka Shankar today blamed Bollywood for objectifying women instead of creating awareness about gender sensitisation. "We need male role models for young boys to look up to, not Bollywood stars who are said to have beaten their girlfriends and yet continue to be worshipped by the masses," she said while speaking about 'Changing mindsets' at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2013.
"Bollywood... my favourite topic... if it could spare a little time to change the mindset of billions of people who give them lifelong attention," she said during a discussion where actor-turned-politicians Smriti Irani and Khushbu Sunder too participated.
Shankar, who had revealed that she was molested as a child, said India doesn't respect its women. Bollywood was busy making money 'by objectifying women', the daughter of late musician Ravi Shankar said.
The sitarist said she was lucky to have been born in a family that loved her and gave her freedom to lead her life the way she wanted but added she fears to step out in the dark when she is in India.
Echoing her views, BJP leader and former TV artiste Irani said after the December 16 gangrape case, she broke down in front of her daughter as she feared for her security. According to Irani, people continue to flout law as there is no fear of law.
"Nobody imagined that just after the December 16 case, a five-year-old girl will be raped."
When asked about Farooq Abdullah's recent comments that it was becoming difficult to hire female assistants, Irani took potshots at the veteran politician, who was in the audience.
"I had two-three editors calling me and saying 'you know it is becoming difficult to ask a lady colleague out for a cup of coffee'. Then I hear Farooq Abdullah saying that it is becoming difficult to hire a woman as an assistant."
"As though women are to be hired so that they could be hit upon, as though they could be hired so that they could be joked with and as though they are hired so they shall meekly surrender... A man who has no malice, need not fear sexual
harassment at workplace," she said.
DMK member Sunder, who was dragged to court for speaking about AIDS, read out a poem to express her view and even revealed how her birth was not celebrated just because of her gender.
"I speak from experience. I was born after three brothers but my father did not come to the hospital after my birth," the former actress said.