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Aamir Khan: Patriarchal thinking to be blamed for cases of sexual harassment

Without being defensive of the film industry, Khan pointed out that crime was prevalent in other industries too.

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Our Correspondent

Actor Aamir Khan has condemned sexual harassment of any kind. While he didn't single out a case, his comments come in the light of the recent molestation incident of Dangal co-actor Zaira Wasim.

Wasim was allegedly molested by a co-passenger aboard a Vistara Airlines flight from Delhi to Mumbai on 10 December.

Khan was asked his views in the context of the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein case, who has been accused by various women of seeking sexual favours for work.

"I think sexual harassment is a very sad thing to happen to anyone, irrespective of what your sex is. Sexual harassment is just not on,” Khan told Press Trust of India.

Without being defensive, Khan pointed out that crime was prevalent in other industries too.  

"I understand that people are free to be romantically involved with whoever they want. But you cannot pressure a person into being with you physically. It happens not only in films, but in all walks of life and is very unfortunate,” added Khan.

Khan also blamed patriarchal thinking for such problems. “It is connected to the larger issue. Not only in India but all over the world, (it is) this thinking of patriarchy that men are stronger or are more important that leads to various kind of things. Sexual harassment is one of them,” said the Dangal (2016) actor.

The actor felt that creative people can help bring about a change in people’s mindset.

“Creative people do have a role to play in showcasing men and women in a manner that influences people in the right way. I do believe we have some sort of responsibility in that,” Khan opined.

Khan cited the example of his TV show Satyamev Jayate and his  films — Dangal (2016) and Secret Superstar (2017) playing a positive role in this regard.

“I am hoping that things will change in the future for the better. It takes time both for the people and the society to change. When we look at women's issues, it is not just about female foeticide and domestic violence, which are huge issues. But even in day-to-day life, women sometimes find that they are not in the possession of their own decisions," Khan explained.

Khan is currently shooting for Thugs of Hindostan in Thailand. The Yash Raj Films prpoduction will be released during Diwali next year.