Poonam, who recently made her Bollywood debut with "Nasha", says that she was constantly badgered and persuaded to feel guilty about the gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai last week. (Agencies)
"Apparently my pictures are responsible for crime against women. Ha ha, really? The same reasoning was used against me during the Nirbhaya case in Delhi. I want to ask all those people who find me provocative enough to induce crime, was there no crime against women before I arrived on the scene," Poonam asked.
She feels that people need a scapegoat for their own failings. "Why blame me for social evils? I am just a girl trying to find my place in the world. I'm used to being targeted by the moral police. When law and order fails, the blame has to be pinned to some convenient target. But why blame me? What have I done?" she asked.
"Main toh sirf baat karti hoon. Maine kuch kiya nahin (I only talk. I haven't done anything). There are other renowned respected actresses who heave and thrust in item songs. They are watched by a lot more men than I am," she added.
Poonam is adamant that rape has no connection with the pin-up provocateurs. "I don't think men go out and commit crime against women because of what they see in films and in pictures. On the contrary, I feel there would be far less crime against women if there would be more sexual gratification at home for men belonging to a certain class, who don't have direct and easy access to female company," she said.
Also, Poonam objects strongly to the view that women invite unwanted attention by the way they dress."Oh please! Five-year-old girls get raped. Do they wear short skirts that provoke such crimes? It is ridiculous to suggest that rape can be prevented if women remain fully clothed," she said.
In any case, Poonam feels mainstream Hindi cinema has a lot to be answerable for."I've seen them indulge in shameless sex talk where heroes are making pointed references to women's body parts. What kind of example are these iconic stars setting," she asked.
Poonam had first grabbed attention during the 2011 Cricket World Cup when she offered to go nude before Team India if they won. Though she didn't keep her word, a nude photograph of her was posted on Twitter in 2012. However, she has clarified that it was morphed.
Poonam, who recently made her Bollywood debut with "Nasha", says that she was constantly badgered and persuaded to feel guilty about the gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai last week.