Indian poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar has claimed that Westernisation does not lead to rapes and other crimes against women.
In response to a question from the audience at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), Akhtar said,
“Westernisation in no way leads to such incidents,” Akhtar said. “It is because of two basic reasons: social segregation and economic divide. The 72-years-old lyricist reminded the audience that a vast majority of young men living in towns do not even talk for more than five minutes with a girl until they reach the age of 25.
“This is how we define our ‘sabhyata’ (culture). “How would somebody, who has never even spoken to a girl, appreciate her and understand that she is something more than her body? For him, it is only body and lust.”
“People come from small towns, live in shabby conditions and they see the rich and affluent leading luxurious lives. Added to it is their previous experience — segregation. They have not talked properly to a girl ever.”
Praising movies like “Piku”, “Pink” and “Dil Dhadakne Do”, he said the roles of women in such films truly portray the changing social status quo in India. He said;
“To establish that you are empowered, you do not need to smoke a cigarette onscreen or boast to sleep with a number of men from various nationalities. Empowerment doesn’t mean this. The role that Katrina played in ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ truly represents an empowered woman. When she is in a swimsuit, you are not looking at her body or figure but at her as a teacher, and it is both played and portrayed brilliantly.”
The celebrated lyricist expressed his disappointment over item songs, saying they simply mean, “they are not related to the movie”.