The #MeToo Movement, originated in the US is now catching up like a wild fire in India as the list is growing by the day. Women from all spectrum of society are now coming up with startling revelations about how they were being subjected to sexual harassment while at work. It all started off with Tanushree Dutta opening the lid of controversy by once again accusing Bollywood actor, Nana Patekar of harassing her on the sets of a film in 2008. She boldly gave interview to the media about the issue, which empowered many affected women to come out in the open speaking loud. Many of the complaints are from the film industry and in addition to media and other corporate world.
In Nana Patekar’s case, Tanushree Dutta came up with a revelation that the former tried to harass her on the sets of the film Horn Ok Pleasss back in 2008. Although the actress had lodged a formal complaint back then, apparently, no concrete action came about. After the #MeToo started gaining ground in India, Dutta once again recounted her memories about the sexual harassment that triggered many women in the country to come out with their experiences of their #MeToo stories. Stoutly denying the allegation, Patekar had said, “What should I say? I said ten years ago. The truth, which was ten years ago remains the same today and will continue to be tomorrow as well.” Dutta has filed a written complaint against Patekar and Mumbai police had started the inquiry.
After Patekar, Alok Nath, the yesteryear television actor who is embroiled in the #MeToo controversy. The television writer and director, Vinta Nanda posted in the social media page of Facebook alleging Nath sexually assaulting her 19 years ago. What is more, Nanda also alleged that the actor had sexually harassed the lead actress, Navneet Nishan on the set of the show. Following suit, actress Sandhya Mridul also came forward with her experience of being harassed by Nath, while they were shooting a tele-film. And that is not all. Actress, Deepika Amin too came forward with allegation that Nath had sexually harassed her as well. Another woman who had worked with Nath on the film, Hum Saath Saath Hain also had come forward with allegation that the actor had sexually harrassed her. Apparently, Nath and his lawyer are now contemplating on filing a defamation suit against Vinta Nanda and Sandhya Mridul.
Next in trouble is Vikas Bahl. A female employee at Phantom Films accused that Bahl had sexually harassed her when the crew of Bombay Velvet went to Goa for promotions. Alleging that Bahl had insisted on dropping her off to her hotel room, she further said the actor had harassed her in an inebriated condition. Again, Bahl has now threatened to file defamation cases against his partners at Phantom Films, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane as they had spoken about the case to the media. As allegations and counter allegations galore, the Indian Film and Television Director’s Association has issued a show-cause notice to Vikas Bahl. The next person who landed in trouble is actor and filmmaker Rajat Kapoor, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by a few women on Twitter. A journalist said that he asked her really uncomfortable questions, while another woman alleged that almost ten years ago, Kapoor used to call her “Incessantly” from actor Saurabh Shukla’s mobile phone. Furthermore, the woman also had alleged that Kapoor did ask her whether she knew of empty houses, only then she had realised the implication of what he had said. Later Kapoor did apologise to that lady. Kailash Kher is another celebrity who is in the news for wrong reasons. A journalist has come forward with her allegation against Kher, stating that the singer had touched her inappropriately, when she went to interview him. A fan of Kher from Kolkata had alleged that he had harassed her. Singer, Sona Mahapatra has also come forward with allegation that Kher had harassed her on many occasions. Kher did apologise on October 8.
Abhijeet Bhattacharya, the Bollywood singer is the man in trouble, where a flight attendant had accused him of sexually harassing her in a pub in Kolkata. The singer had remarked about the allegation to the media that “Most of the fat and ugly girls are blaming and I wasn’t born at that time.”
A woman had levelled allegation that in 2001, Arun Grover had harassed her during the rehearsal of a play. Of course, he had denied the allegation and took to Twiter, where he wrote: “Never touched any person inappropriately in life.”
The director of Hindi films, Anurag Kashyap held that he refused to believe any allegation about Varun.
If all these allegations are happening in Bollywood and Delhi, down south, Kollywood lyricist Vairamuthu is in the news for wrong reasons. Singer Chinmayi Sripaada had come up with the accusation that at least on two occasions, the poet had made her feel uncomfortable and she further alleged that she was also told that “she won’t have a career” should the vocalist fail to cooperate. As the allegation has become sensational in the industry circles, Vairamuthu rubbished all allegations. Chinmayi is not the only woman to complain about Vairamuthu, as there are more women coming forward with the allegation of sexual harassment. Also, an upcoming singer, whose story was shared by Chinmayi went like this: Raghu Dixit tried to kiss the singer in his studio, when she came for a song recording. In another Tweet, Chinmayi wrote about the story of a singer who said Raghu asked her to sit on his lap during one of their meetings at his studio. Promptly, Dixit issued an apology. Merely, by issuing apology, will the matter die down is the question that begs an answer.
As many of them are taking to social media and coming up revelations, the police cannot suo moto take up the case. Unless, the affected persons lodge a written complaint, the police will not be able to initiate inquiries, the police told.
In the Mollywood, actor cum MLA, M Mukesh is in trouble as a casting director had accused that she was harassed by the actor in Chennai, while working on the Malayalam quiz show, Koteeswaran. She had further alleged that Mukesh had called her room many times and even shifted his room to the one next to hers. When queried by the media, Mukesh said he has no memory of working with her.
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