Apr 2013

Farhan Akhtar- a Real MARD

We all know that the Hindi word Mard is a term. A term used for real men in terms of being brave and courageous- someone who'll fight for righteousness.

We ARE talking of real men here- those who have taken up the cause of mobilizing the men in India against rape and discrimination. MARD- Men Against Rape and Discrimination, is the name of the campaign launched by Farhan Akhtar. Talking of Farhan Akhtar, we know he has the Midas touch, turning everything he touches to gold, having succeeded in whatever he undertakes-be it film production, direction, singing or acting. His latest endeavor in garnering support of the men in India to pledge to become the catalyst of change to stop the atrocities against the women in India is admirable and certainly long overdue. Especially in the light of the new awakening the country has been experiencing since the brutality suffered by the young Nirbhaya last December on a Delhi bus.

Farhan initiated the campaign back in August of 2012, when his employee, a young mumbai lawyer, was assaulted and killed by her own watchman. He launched it in March of 2013. As it's website Farhan Akhtar proudly proclaims- "Every time I look into the mirror, I want to see a man whose mother, sister, wife and daughter are proud to call their own." The website states- MARD is here to create awareness amongst men to instill gender equality and respect towards women. It is here to bring about a change in the mind set and thereby bringing about a sustained change in society. Mard is a small step, for a big change! The website allows you to make a pledge and download the essence of a 'Mard'- in Hindi, English, Gurumukhi and Bengali. The website also talks about the MARD-Magic Bus partnership that is inspired by Farhan Akhtar and Matthew Spacey's collective drive to lay emphasis on gender awareness through education. 

( Photo Credit & Video Credit: Real Mard)

But the most touching and motivating part of the website is the video with poem in Farhan's very captivating voice, written by his father, Javed Akhtar, presenting the real MARD. This video is an absolute must watch.

We hear that many popular figures like Shah Rukh Khan, Arjun Rampal, Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor, Sachin Tendulkar and Hindi Film Industry's leading ladies like Deepika Padukone, Shabana Azmi, Sonam Kapoor have supported him on his initiative. 



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Though India obviously has a long way to go before it's streets are safe for women, before all the eve-teasing, groping, leching, staring and assaults on women can come to a halt, this is certainly a good start- all men who are good role-models for others, should come together and educate the men about the necessity to revere women! Every mother should look into her son's eyes and talk to him about respecting women. Every father should set the right examples for his son to follow. Every government should work towards implementing strict laws against the perpetrators of crime against women and every judicial system should mete out severe punishments against any form of lawlessness against women. The goal is for every man to be a Mard!