Entertainment News

Daisy Irani reveals she was raped at the age of six during a film shoot

Irani starred in many hit films such as ‘Naya Daur’ and ‘Ek Hi Raasta’ as a child.

Actress Daisy Irani, in an interview to the Mumbai Mirror, revealed that a man assigned to be her guardian during the shooting of Hum Panchhi Ek Dal Ke (1957) in Chennai raped her. She was six years old then.

“He accompanied me to a film shoot in Madras,” Irani told Mumbai Mirror. “One night in the hotel room he violated me, hit me with a belt and warned me that he would kill me if I ever told anyone about what had happened...I can recall the incident only in flashes, but I do remember the killing pain, and the visual of him belting me. The next morning, I was back at the studio as if nothing had happened. For years, I couldn’t dare to tell my mother about what he had done.”

Play
Hum Panchhi Ek Daal Ke (1957).

Irani made her Hindi cinema debut in Bandish (1955). She was pushed into the film industry by her mother, she told the tabloid.

She appeared in a number of succesful films, often as a curly haired boy. Her credits include Jagte Raho (1956), Naya Daur (1957) and Dhool Ka Phool (1959). Her younger sister, Honey Irani, was also a child artist and the two appeared together in a few films including Qaidi No. 911 (1959) and Kati Patang (1970). “Thanks to our mother, Perin, our lives, when we were kids, resembled a never-ending black comedy,” Daisy Irani told Mumbai Mirror.

Irani also revealed that a producer made unwanted sexual advances at her when she was a teenager. “When I was 15 or so mother made me wear a sari, padded me up with a new-fangled sponge, and left me alone with producer Mallikchand Kochar, who was planning a film called Mere Huzoor then, at his office,” Irani told the tabloid. “It was all quite hilarious...He joined me on the sofa, and started touching me… I knew what was on his mind. I took out the sponge things and handed them to him. He was furious. Now why did I do that? Because, I’ve always seen the funnier side of things.”

Irani said that she was making the revelations years later because she wanted to caution the current generation of child actors and their parents. “Child actors have it tough,” she said. “In a majority of cases they have been taken advantage of. Maybe a few have had it easy, but most don’t, really.”

When asked if she had any hesitation about going public with the accusations after more than six decades, she said, “None at all...The truth never killed anyone. If I’ve spoken up after years and years and if the result sounds sensational in print, no problem.”

Irani is the maternal aunt of actor Farhan Akhtar and his director sister Zoya (they are Honey Irani’s children) and director-choreographer Farah Khan. Her recent acting credits include Housefull (2010), Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi (2012) and Happy New Year (2014) .

Play
Daisy Irani.
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.

Play


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.