When we think about the kind of life celebrities lead, we often tend to only focus on the money and the fame part. We forget that, like everything else in the world, being a celebrity has its downsides as well. After all, all that glitters is not gold. From paparazzis keeping tabs on their every move to being subjected to the horrors of the casting couch. It’s not all that glamorous. In fact, in addition to all that, a lot of celebrities also have dangerous and terrifying encounters with fans who sometimes invade their personal space and even try and get physical. One such horrific incident happened with Dangal actress Fatima Sana Shaikh. A man punched her after she slapped him for touching her inappropriately.
In a recent interview, Fatima Sana Shaikh opened up a horrid incident that happened when she was returning home from the gym one day. She saw a man staring at her. When she confronted him, he was disrespectful and even tried to touch her inappropriately. When she retaliated and slapped him, he punched her so hard that she blacked out. After this, it was her father who took after the man to teach him a lesson.
She said, “Main raste mein jaa rahi thi gym ke baad. Ek ladka aaya aur wo ghoor raha tha. Toh maine bola, ‘Kya ghoor raha hai?‘ (He said) ‘Ghoorunga, meri marzi.’ Maine kaha ‘Maar khaana hai?‘ (He said) ‘Maar‘. (I was on my way back from the gym when I noticed a man starring at me. I confronted him and asked why he was staring. He said ‘it is my wish. I asked him if he wanted a slap. He replied, ‘slap me’.”
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Narrating the incident further Fatima said, “I slapped him, he punched me. I blacked out. Of course, I called my father first and informed him about the incident. He came with two-three other men. You know how fathers are. That man ran into a street. My father, my brother, and their friends went all, ‘kaun tha jo meri beti ko haath lagaya? (Who touched my daughter)’”.
In the same interview, Fatima said that her parents are her biggest support system. She said her father is a “strong person and a strong support system”.
We’ve always been taught not to engage if a man is ever staring at us or following us. Which happens often. However, despite the outcome, I am glad Fatima stood up to the man and called him out. Staring, stalking and then hitting a woman, celebrity or not, is unacceptable.