Rhea Chakraborty pens down an open letter to every Indian stressing the importance of self-defence

Former Video Jockey and actor Rhea Chakraborty was molested in Mumbai, last year, in March. This happened to her in her own building. She took to Twitter to talk about it, after that –

She decided to share her own experience to stress the importance of self-defence and bring about a much required awareness. Here’s what she has to say:

Dear boys who want to protect girls and, more importantly, dear girls –

Like every single one of you, I have horror stories. Like you, I’ve been harassed, groped, “eve teased,” objectified, and far more. I spent most of my life accepting this reality as the way of the world. This is what it means to be a woman in India, I thought, and that we had no choice but to accept it.

I often watched Ronda Rousey – the world’s best mixed martial artist – and wondered what would happen to any man who dared to touch her without consent. God help them. Then a thought occurred to me: hell yeah, why don’t I become stronger, too?

Thanks to my friends from India Fight Factory, I then met the love of my life – Krav Maga.

There was that day and there is this one today. It’s been a year and a half and I feel so much braver, stronger and more aware, all thanks to training. I train 4 hours a week in this practice. Unlike all other forms of martial arts, Krav Maga is purely mental, in my opinion. All you need is presence of mind, and a little practice every week. In the end, you are the only person you can rely on.

The basic principle of this practice is to attack your opponent, whether they’re stronger or weaker than you, at non-muscular parts of their body. Eyes, nose bone, Adam’s apple, groin, center of chest. Use whatever you have – a key chain, a bag, anything. It’s about doing a quick bunch of moves, enough to make the opponent lose balance, and then run! I would strongly recommend Krav Maga to everyone, boy or girl, man or woman.

Girls and women: in an ideal world, the onus to keep yourself safe from sexual violence should not be yours. But this isn’t an ideal world and, while we work toward making it one, all we can do is arm ourselves.

Boys and men: in a situation where a girl is getting harassed, what can a bystander do if the opponent is stronger, more in number or has a weapon? You need more than just your best intentions to protect victims of harassment. You need to be able to fight.

Krav Maga is one solution. Until the state of safety for women in India doesn’t change, we need to take our safety in our own hands.

Let no body threaten you, stay alert, be aware of your surroundings and train to become mentally stronger and physically agile. So if any fool tries to mess with you, may god save him.

Hoping my letter shakes you, grips you, and brings your inner monster out!

Train like a beast, look like a beauty.

Rhea Chakraborty

P.S. And to all of you harassers, it’s time to look beyond our weaknesses and run for cover.

We appreciate Rhea for taking efforts to pen down this. We all need it.