Keeping chivalry alive in India: Men respond to rape crisis

By Monica Sarkar

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 9.08.21 AMSince December, rapes have persisted and mass protests have erupted across the country, pointing at inefficiency in dealing with such crimes and an inherent patriarchal nature. But there’s one clear observation from the outcry: some of the voices belong to India’s men.

“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,” says renowned Bollywood actor and director Farhan Akhtar on the website of his movement formed in March called MARD — Men Against Rape and Discrimination.

Distributing plastic moustaches — a symbol of masculinity — at the cricket ground of Eden Gardens in Kolkata in April, Farhan is using his influence to encourage men to become “real MARDs” — also meaning “men” in the national language of Hindi.

He is setting out a plan of action with Magic Bus — an established NGO in India — that uses sport to engage children from poorer communities, teaching values such as the importance of education, health and gender equality.

“Young people in India don’t have good role models aside from Bollywood and sports people,” says Matthew Spacie, Magic Bus founder. “Farhan is a great voice addressing young people.”

Read more on CNN.