No private affair
The charges of molestation pressed by Bollywood actress Preity Zinta on her ex-beau and wealthy industrialist Ness Wadia shouldn’t be interpreted as the fallout of a relationship gone sour. While proper investigation must be carried out, there’s mounting evidence on how the rich man’s son acted as a spoilt brat most of the times and had even resorted to physically assaulting her in public. Even though the Zinta-Wadia relationship had started out as the stuff of lore and lit up many a page-three party in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata during its five-year run, the porcelain surface of the picture-perfect bond had started to crack and warts came out in the open soon after. Notwithstanding the transgressions on Wadia’s part, Zinta had maintained a studied silence and given the relationship more than its due share of dignity. However, why the 39-year-old actress was forced to take the extreme step and lodge a police complaint in Mumbai could be fathomed from her passionate and earnest Facebook post, in which she claimed that not being ‘super wealthy’ wouldn’t stop her from charting the painful but right path.
Mumbai police has registered against Wadia cases under IPC sections 354, 504, 506 and 509, which include criminal assault, intentional insult, provocation amounting to breach of peace, outraging modesty, among others. It will only be ascertained if the charges are accurate after the witnesses testify and statements are recorded, and of course, Wadia should get full benefit of doubt. But for all those who are busy ‘shaming’ Zinta for making public an apparently ‘private affair’ and dubbing it a case of sour grapes, with the ‘ageing’ actress stooping to her lowest to garner publicity and shore up her sagging fortunes, this is a wakeup call. It is a logical fallacy to say that women must not disclose ‘minor’ abuses within domestic setups since that trivialises the ‘major’ cases such as the gang-rape and murder of teenage girls in Badaun or the 16 December fatal gang-rape in Delhi. If women begin speaking up more often on ‘smaller’ issues, hopefully, the bigger ones could be prevented altogether.