The murder of a seven-year-old child at a posh school in Gurugram has drawn sharp criticisms from all quarters. Joining in the chorus is filmmaker-actor-activist Farhan Akhtar.
“I am numbed. Words fail me. We speak about crime and then move on. This is the mistake we make and this is what encourages crime. The lack of accountability and sustained protest. The most frightening thing is, that the monster who did this horrific deed to the child thought he would get away with something so inhuman. I can’t even begin to imagine what the child’s parents are going through,” says the actor.
“My children are as vulnerable as any other child because at school, their parents are not with them. It is the school’s responsibility to ensure their safety. I think the school administration has failed not just the child but also proved how damaged our system is,” says Farhan wondering how such potential criminals are employed to protect children.
“To save some money, you employ dubious people to look after homes and schools. What could be more careless and irresponsible? We immediately need to pass stricter laws against careless employment of unverified people. Because whether they are potential criminals or not is not written on their faces. How do we know that the watchman employed to protect our homes or the bus conductor employed to drive children to school is trustworthy?” asks Farhan.
He also feels that empowered sections of society do not exercise enough clout to stop these crimes. “Don’t just point fingers at actors. It could be any empowered or privileged individual or organisation. We all must join forces to make sure that no potential criminal thinks that he can get away with a crime as heinous as the one committed by that bus conductor in Gurgaon. ”
As an actor Farhan feels he can’t play anti-socials. “Maybe some years ago when crime was not so barbaric, I could have. Now I doubt I will ever play a serial killer, rapist or a child molester just because it would challenge me as an actor. What about the much greater challenge that we face as nation to protect our vulnerable sections? We who have must think twice before using that voice.”...