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  Entertainment   Bollywood  24 Mar 2018  Daisy Irani shares childhood horrors

Daisy Irani shares childhood horrors

Published : Mar 24, 2018, 5:10 am IST
Updated : Mar 24, 2018, 5:10 am IST

The veteran actress opened about being sexually abused at the age of six and how she hasn’t been able to move on from the incident.

(Right) Daisy Irani as a child actor.
 (Right) Daisy Irani as a child actor.

Veteran actress Daisy Irani, who has served decades in the Hindi film industry ever since her first appearance in Bandish in 1955, has opened up about being sexually abused when she was barely six years old.

Like most abuse and molestation cases, where a supposedly entrusted person is the perpetrator, it was Daisy’s very own “guardian” who raped her during an outdoor shoot for the film Hum Panchhi Ek Daal Ke.

With the passing years, Daisy may have suppressed that memory, but she hasn’t fully overcome it. “Even at the age of 67 that I am today, every time that I think of the incident, I freeze. It is just sad. It leaves a dent in one’s life, forever,” she laments.

While the industry struggles to keep with its fair share of accusations for casting couch, Daisy’s revelation has exposed the dark side of the film industry with even child artistes not being spared.

“How will a child know what is a right touch and an inappropriate touch?” she questions. “Child artistes are almost always surrounded by so many people, but who can these kids speak to about this? They just can’t!” she says.

At the same time, Daisy even blames parents for their selfish motives in making child actors out of their children. “My mother was hell bent on making me a star. There was so much pressure on me. And at that time, had I spoken up about the issue, I don’t know if they would have believed me. Thank God I didn’t speak when was six — nobody would have believed me.”

While Daisy’s perpetrator has long died, she says her mother discovered about the incident almost a decade after the fateful day.

“I was 15 years old when my mother got to know about it from somewhere. She came to me and asked me if it was true. When I said yes, she was ashamed, asking for forgiveness. It was very heart-wrenching,” she sadly recalls.

While this may have happened decades ago, the veteran actress, through her years of being in the industry, claims that it is only worsening for child artistes.

“We are only getting worse — and even more vicious — with each passing day!”

But Daisy sees hope with new films. “Movies like Monsoon Wedding and Highway are spreading awareness about child sexual abuse and bringing the issue to fore. Earlier, people didn’t open up, but now they are talking openly. This is a good step up for us,” she says.

Daisy only hopes that parents understand the plight of their children. “I don’t understand why parents want to put their children into this industry so young. We understand people from rural areas they come here to get a break and make money — that’s fine but once you make some money don’t be greedy. As parents we have to be alert and keep an eye on everyone,” she says.

As a parting shot, Daisy just has this to say: “Let the child enjoy their childhood.”

Tags: daisy irani, bandish