Some voices also pointed out that a collective change of mindsets and not increased security was the way to ensure such incidents did not repeat.

No one can take away her courage Colleagues rally behind Malayalam actor abducted in Kochi
news Social Media Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 16:45

As news spread of the abduction and sexual assault of a popular Malayalam actor in Kochi, a number of voices from the industry have stood up to express their solidarity with her. Expressing anger and shock over the incident, many actors have also applauded the survivor for the courage she has shown since the incident occurred.

Popular star Dulquer Salmaan posted on Facebook that the incident had shattered the pride he had always felt about Kerala society and its treatment of women.

“I take great pride in our state and how safe our society is. Especially how we treat and respect our women. And yesterday it's like that shattered.”

Expressing the hope that the Kerala police would soon, “catch these spineless cowards hiding behind their masks,” Dulquer added that the responsibility for such incidents fell on all people in society. “Including myself and our industry, I request all our boys and men, young and old to be alert and vigilant. It's equally our responsibility to care about, look out for, and to respect and protect our women.”

He added that he was making the statement regarding the incident with some reluctance, as he did not want to shift attention from the incident to himself. “I was hesitant to speak out about this incident yesterday out of respect for the victim of this travesty. It's easy to just post something on social media, but I'm afraid it somehow becomes about yourself. This is so much more than all that. It's something that sickens and frightens my core.”

“Even when the horror of what happened to her was still fresh in her mind, she remained brave. In fact, we were the ones who were not. But not her. She had in her, the very strength with which she faced it. No one can take away her courage,” wrote Manju in Malayalam.

“Her face told us that nobody can defeat a woman's spirit,” she added.

Raising questions to both the state and to society, Manju also wrote, “How will our state answer this, a state that has set examples on equality of women? Every woman is entitled to get back the same respect she gives a man. Mutual respect should be ingrained in us, only then can we put an end to men being attackers and women being victims.”

She added that mere outrage at each incident would not solve anything without a sustained movement for changing the social mindset. “Every time something of this sort happens, we make a huge fuss about it, create hashtags. But we easily forget them a few days later. Shouldn't there be an end to this? We need a movement to set things right. Isn't that the need of the hour? If there's such a movement, I will lead it,” she wrote.

Actor Anoop Menon too lauded the survivor’s positive spirit and her courage in the face of the incident. Saying that she has, “always been a bundle of joy, spreading the happiness to people around you,” the actor said that there could be no forgiveness for those who snatched away her smile. “But every girl will be grateful to you, for not being silent. To your courage!” he added.

Actor and filmmaker Geetu Mohan Das, similarly wrote, “You are not a victim. You are an epitome of bravery in my eyes.” Joining the chorus of voices who have criticised the media  for  the way the incident has been reported, with many outlets sensationalising the issue, she also said, “To all the media personnel, I have only one request. You have the power of the pen, do not misuse it, be responsible.”  

While Geetu was mild in her criticism of the media, others have hit out hard. Actor Rima Kallingal accused media outlets of chasing after the sensational aspects of sexual assault cases, so that the more savage a case turned out to be, the better it was for the media.

Actor Prithviraj had also hit out at the media, saying that he had refrained from saying anything about the incident because he did not want to provide fodder for “clickbait and TRP mongering”. 

Popular actor Nivin Pauly took to Twitter to term violence as the "weakest form of strength."

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