By Lars Brandle
The daughter of late Indian sitar great Ravi Shankar has spoken out about how she was sexually abused as a child.
Anoushka Shankar, herself a talented sitar player, has told of how she had suffered “groping, touching and verbal abuse” by a man “my parents trusted”.
Shankar shares her troubling story in a video posted online in support of “One Billion Rising,” a global campaign to end violence against women.
The “One Billion Rising” movement was started by American playwright and feminist Eve Ensler to mark the 15th anniversary of the V-day campaign to end violence against women.
“Growing up, like many women I know, I suffered various forms of groping, touching, verbal abuse and other things I didn’t know how to deal with,” she says in the video.
Shankar’s decision to talk openly on her abuse comes at a time when her native India is in the global spotlight for a spate of brutal gang rapes on woman, many of which go unreported or unrecognized by the police.
Shankar paid tribute to the 23-year-old medical student who died after a particularly brutal attack on herself and her boyfriend on a bus in Delhi last December.
“Enough is enough,” Shankar says, speaking from her London home. “I’m rising for women like her. I’m rising for the amazing women of my country, who are together calling and saving enough is enough. I’m rising for the child in me who I don’t think will recover from what happened to her”.
Shankar was raised in London, Delhi and California and started learning to play the sitar from her father, Ravi Shankar, at the age of nine. Her sister is multi-platinum selling jazz-crossover star Norah Jones. Anoushka and Norah were on hand at the Grammys to collect the lifetime achievement on behalf of their father, who’d worked with the Beatles at the height of their fame. Ravi passed away in December at the age of 92.
Anoushka’s most recent album, “Traveller” was released in March 2012 by Universal Music classical label Deutsche Grammophon.