Indian actress and model Gauahar Khan gets slapped on stage, speaks up against violence

Indian model-turned actress Gauahar Khan has spoken against violence after being slapped by a man for wearing a short dress during the filming of a reality television show in Mumbai. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE
Indian model-turned actress Gauahar Khan has spoken against violence after being slapped by a man for wearing a short dress during the filming of a reality television show in Mumbai. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Indian model-turned actress Gauahar Khan has spoken against violence after being slapped by a man for wearing a short dress during the filming of a reality television show in Mumbai.

Ms Khan, who continued filming an hour after the incident. urged Indian women who have suffered similar harassment and abuse to hold their heads up high.

During a press conference in India on Tuesday, she said: "I am only here to state that no one has the right to attack, hurt or torture anybody, be it a woman or man."

She also defended Islam, her religion. She said: "This loser does not represent my beautiful faith, which in itself means peace and submission," adding that what her attacker did is an act of "terror" that no religion or culture condones.

The incident has again highlighted the issue of moral policing in India.

"Who allows the moron to decide what the world should be doing or how a girl should dress? Why doesn't a loser like him have a fear of the law before he decides to attack a girl who is unarmed, unprepared?" she asked. She also questioned the lax security that made it possible for the man to confront her on stage.

Ms Khan was slapped by the 24-year-old man while filming the grand finale of India's Raw Star, a singing competition. Police quoted the attacker as saying that as a Muslim woman, Ms Khan should not have worn such a short dress.

The attacker, Akil Malik, apparently first tried to touch her, then slapped her. He has since been arrested and charged with molestation.

The incident comes amid heightened awareness on sexual harassment and abuse of women in India. It was in New Delhi, India, where a young medical student was brutally gang-raped in 2012. She died in Singapore after being flown here for treatment. More recently, two Indian sisters Pooja Kumar and Arti were hailed as "bravehearts" after a video showing them fighting off three alleged molesters went viral.

Ms Khan's supporters have come out to praise her on her bravery.

Sources: Zee News, NDTV