News & Interviews

“Zaira’s Experience  Happened To Me Too!!” Tanishtha Chatterjee On Her Midair Harassment

Seasoned actresss Tannishtha Chatterjee is appalled by what Zaira Wasim has gone through during an air flight.

“How can  a  17-year old child be harassed, and that too in the business class when she  was  travelling with her mother? Is no one safe anywhere? Even while Zaira was  subjected to this humiliation a 5-year old girl in Haryana was raped murdered and wood inserted in her private parts. Have we  as a civilization lost all sense  of decency? Now children are molesting children!!  No one is safe.You can be 5 or 85, you are a potential victim of sex crimes, ” laments  Tannishtha who reveals she has gone  through her own midair trauma .

“But there is a difference. I am much older far more experienced woman. No one can misbehave  with me and  get away with it. I’d slap the shit out of  the creep.I could handle the lout who misbehaved. Zaira being a child  was  completely lost in the situation. The fact that the cabin crew did not help her has to do with the passengers’ hierarchy. Both Zaira and the alleged molester was travelling business class. This, to the crew, meant both were from a privileged class and  had  to be treated carefully. The presumption that sexual predators come  from the underprivileged class probably works in midair also. If this had happened in economy class the offender would’ve been dealt differently,’ says Tannishtha.

Speaking  of  her experience the Brick Lane, Parched  actress recounts, “Even before the flight took off this man,  a co-passenger seated next to  me was acting smart.  I shouted for help. When the aircrew came I  told them to find another seat  for  the man or for me . They mumbled that I should  adjust. This is  again, businessclass hierarchy.I insisted either he  be removed or me.”

 Tannishtha feels offender-shaming is very important.  “When something like this happens, speak up immediately. Create a scene. Post a video on social media. Let the world know what’s happened. I am glad Zaira has spoken up. I am utterly ashamed of a society that can’t protect its women and children. Zaira is  from the privileged class .And she was travelling business class. Then this happened!  I shudder  to think what working girls from themiddleclass go through every day on buses, trains and auto-rickshaws.”

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