As 2016 came to an end in Bangalore, the new year began in a terrible fashion. The alleged mass molestation of women in the city's most prominent roads sent shock waves across the country.
Unable to hide his disgust, India's cricket captain Virat Kohli has lashed out and said he was ashamed to be a part of society where this is seen as normal.
In a video posted on his Twitter account, he said that those who watched in silence when women were being molested on Bengaluru streets on New Year's eve have "no right to call themselves men."
Here's is his message in full:
"What happened in Bangalore is really really disturbing. To see something like that happening to the girls and for people to watch and not do anything about it is a cowardly act. Those people have no right to call themselves men."
"I would like to ask a question, God forbid if something like that happened to someone in your family, would you stand and watch or would you help? These things are allowed to happen because people stand there and watch it and they are absolutely fine with it. That's why these things happen to a girl."
"Just because she is wearing short clothes? It's her life and it's her decision, her choice and for men to accept that it is an opportunity to get away with doing this and men in power defending it, is absolutely horrible."
"The fact that these things are in certain people's heads and is acceptable to a certain degree, it's disturbing and it's shocking and I am ashamed to be a part of that society."
"I think we need to change our thinking, treat men and women in the same way, be respectful, and treat women with some compassion and put yourself in that situation and think what if we were the family members of those girls. How would we feel about it?"
It is heartening to see someone of the stature of Virat Kohli come out and not just talk about the issue, but make points that are pertinent and valid -- instead of resorting to victim-blaming and other cliches like 'not all men do this.'
Well played, captain!
Watch the videos here:
This country should be safe & equal for all. Women shouldn't be treated differently. Let's stand together & put an end to such pathetic acts pic.twitter.com/bD0vOV2I2P— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 6, 2017
Change your thinking and the world will change around you. pic.twitter.com/FinDIYv2aV— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 6, 2017
(With PTI inputs)