Indian actress Gauhar Khan’s empowered response to her on-air assault

Bollywood actress Gauhar Khan was filming an episode of the Indian reality show Raw Star when a member of the live audience took it upon himself to slap her across the face — because he believed the dress she was wearing was too short.

Apparently the 24-year-old man started a verbal altercation with Khan about her wardrobe, and police have quoted him as telling Khan that “being a Muslim woman, she should not have worn such a short dress.” The man then proceeded the strike Khan before being apprehended by police.  Law enforcement has registered a case against him for assaulting a female.

The video footage shows the immediate aftermath of the incident, and it is clear from her facial expression that Khan is in complete and utter shock — and rightly so. Aside from the obviously inexcusable act of physically assaulting someone, the fact that a total stranger deemed it necessary to chastise and berate Khan for her choice of clothing is both baffling and sad. Even in the wake of campaigns such as “Not Asking For It,” women from all walks of life are still having to defend how they look and what they wear — and those who do not fit into the social constructs of what is acceptable are verbally—and even physically—attacked for not “knowing better.”

Khan has handled the situation with poise and dignity, and has some very choice words for people who feel they can resort to physical violence to make their opinions known. “This loser doesn’t represent my beautiful faith which in itself means peace and submission,” said Guahar in a press conference in Mumbai. “He apparently attacked me because I am an actress. He wanted to send out his warped message. I am using the same status to appeal to all women to stand against such acts . . . I can still feel the fire on my cheeks. I am here with a swollen face not to gain sympathy but to bring forth the truth.”

Khan says that she will not let this attack daunt her. “I assure you all that I am hurt but not out. I am shocked but more determined. I felt injured but stronger than ever.”

You can watch the full clip of Khan’s powerful response at the press conference below:

(Image via)