New Delhi: Riding a 350-cc Royal Enfield through the city, Gul Panag becomes an instant hit anywhere in Delhi. The perfect fit red leather jacket atop jeans and a pair of dark glares add a dash of toughness to the glamour quotient she naturally exudes. When the Bollywood actress-turned-politician led a big team of bikers and autowallahs through RK Puram in support of AAP candidate Pramila Tokas on Thursday, she had the young in awe.
The 36-year-old former Miss India launched her well attended road show from the same spot in Munirka in South Delhi where a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern was beaten and gangraped in a private bus in which she was travelling with a male friend on 16 December, 2012.
When asked about choosing the Bullet and the spot to launch her road show, she told Firstpost, “It is nothing but a symbolic gesture. Nothing has been changed in the city since the horrible incident, Women are still molested and raped here.”
“Like other places, patriarchy is deep rooted the Delhi as well. This rally is aimed at making women aware of what our party has to offer and instill fearlessness in them,” she said.
On her way to the posh locality with her women contingent, she was greeted with rose petals showered from balconies of residential flats. With a smile on her face, the Chandigarh girl waved at the crowds and flashed the victory sign time and again to thank the locals for the rousing welcome she received.
She called for women to come onto the streets and become equal stake holders as men. “Women play as important role as men do in the society. Therefore, we believe that they are equal stake holders in society. I will always stand up for women’s equality and not feel ashamed when I get out of the house,” she said.
A few women stopped her and sought lessons in bike riding. Politely refusing to become their teacher, Gul told them that she is not a lone biker in this country; there are at least six women-only bike clubs in the country. But when she was surrounded by a crowd of women, she gave them a quick lesson of how to become less dependent on their husbands by taking the two-wheeler.
The AAP poster girl was also quick to list her party’s vision for women security, which include deployment of marshals in buses, setting up civil defence force and building exclusive toilets for women. Though she finished third in Chandigarh in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, she tried to convince the women folk that only AAP is able to tackle the rising crime against women.
“The menace can be handled only if the Delhi Police comes under the ambit of the Delhi government. Except the AAP, no party has demanded statehood for Delhi,” she said.