There has always been predators roaming right amongst us. These vultures would fly high in the sky away from gaze,only to prey silently on barren lands where the victims could not even raise voices. But Karma is sweet! Ain’t it? If they ever thought they could skip their karma anonymously,they were gravely mistaken.
After Tanushree Dutta blamed Nana Patekar of sexual harassment, it felt all the women out there seeking shelter,hiding in corners found their voices. The surge is so strong that Indian media and Bollywood is consumed in the cascades of allegations. The ‘male feminists’ have suddenly vanished and deafening silence from the prominent male celebrities approves of their dominant status in workplaces. Though we could see many of the women celebrities coming out in open with their side of #Metoo stories. The Twitter movement is consuming India which always had its hindrance about sexuality,leave alone random sexual harassment,but this movement has shaken the roots of the traditional beliefs that cluttered the mind and pushed women into the backseat. Here is the list of fearless #MeToo voices who are challenging the authorities and shaking the male kingdom. And all in a week span! Wow!
Tanushree Dutta stirred up a storm when she accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of Horn OK Pleassss in 2008. The actress, in several interviews, claimed that she was forced to do lewd, vulgar and uncomfortable dance steps with Patekar, something she had not signed up for. The ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ actress also named choreographer Ganesh Acharya, director Rakesh Sarang and producer Sami Siddiqui and Vivek Agnihotri alleging their involvement in the crime. Many prominent personalities including male actors of Bollywood like Farhan Akhtar and actress like Anushka Sharma supported her. Currently Dutta has lodged a complaint with the Maharashtra State Commission for Women demanding an investigation against them and the commission has issued a notice to them asking to clear the blames in 10 days.
Priya Ramani is a well known and well respected name in the world of journalism. She posted a long thread on Twitter today narrating her ordeal. She tweeted
” I began this piece with my MJ Akbar story. Never named him because he didn’t “do” anything. Lots of women have worse stories about this predator—maybe they’ll share.”
She referred to the founding editor of a national newspaper and a powerful personality MJ Akbar who is minister of state for external affairs in the current BJP government. Many other female journalists came out in open accusing MJ Akbar asking for sexual favours and narrated her usual predating style of how he would call young girls for interview into her hotel room with drinks in his hands on his bed. Though Mrs Sushma Swaraj is still silent on the issue but a big action is expected soon.
When Vinta Nanda, a veteran writer-producer of the avant-garde 1990s’ show “Tara” fame accused the most sanskaari actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her almost two decades ago,everybody was taken aback. She said
“He was an alcoholic, shameless and obnoxious but he was also the television star of that decade, so not only was he forgiven for all his bad behaviour, many of the guys would also egg him on to be his worst,”
She also said, he even harassed the show’s lead actress who was not interested in him. Later Navneet Nishan the lead actress of Tara came out in open supporting the statement of Vinita nanda. She stated ”
“I empathise with Vinta for the terrible pain she has gone through; it is unimaginable. I dealt with the four year harassment by slapping the man in question and it is done and dusted.I suffered the loss of the show and was further shamed by the man through media and I endured that. I fought my battles there and then. I am immensely glad that the power trip and sexual dominance coming from this power is being called out. It is high time.”
Bollywood actress Flora Saini, who played the role of the ghost in the recently released Stree with Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead accused producer Gaurang Doshi of harrasment and assault. She was dating the producer but called it quits when she fractured a jaw in an assault in 2007. She said
“I realized me talking about it ,that time, just went against me ,cos he was the powerful one n nobody wanted to believe some girl who was relatively new in the industry, it was his word against mine ,and of course, his word mattered”
Multiple women came out in open and accused Queen director Vikas Bahal of sexually harassing them. Last year, a woman employee at Phantom Films, which had Bahl as one of the partners alongside Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena, slapped allegations of molestation against Bahl, who according to her claims had misbehaved with her during a trip to Goa. It ignited the flames after she gave an interview with huffpost anonymously and became one of the strongest voices of Me too movement in bollywood. She said
“I didn’t make anything of it. For me, Bahl was my boss’s (Anurag Kashyap) business partner. I wasn’t worried about anything. He had acted normally throughout the party.” The two then headed to her room and the woman bid Vikas good night and gave him a hug. After that, she rushed inside the room to the bathroom, she said because “I couldn’t hold my pee anymore”. But to her shock when she came out of her bathroom, Vikas was lying on the footrest of her bed. She recalled, “He acted as if he couldn’t get up. I asked him to get up, leave. In my head, I was thinking furiously, ‘what should I do to get him out?” And after she asked Vikas to leave the room repeatedly, she gave up. “I had no energy to do anything more. He wasn’t leaving my room. I gathered some strength and put multiple pillows between the two of us to create some sort of a divider. Everything was blurry, I was on the verge of passing out but one part of my brain was very aware of this man who wouldn’t leave my bed.”
But to her horror, as soon as she lied on her bed, in a few seconds time, Vikas put his hand inside her dress and when she pushed him away after resisted several times, he dropped his pants and started masturbating onto her back, because her back was towards him, saying, “Fuck you, bitch”. He then left the room.
Anurag Kashyap supported her and Kangana Ranaut said
” Vikas would bury his face in my neck, hold me really tight and breathe in the smell of my hair. It’d take me great amount of strength and effort to pull myself out of his embrace. He’d say I love how you smell K,”
The storm of Me Too movement is currently so strong in India that even anonymous voices of strong women who dared to narrate their plight scratching the wounds that hurt all over again were able to pull down mighty and powerful men in media TV and Bollywood world. Comedian Utsav Chkravarti of AIB fame was accused of sexual harassment by several women on social media, has countered that he asked an underage person for nude photographs, while admitting to “getting nudes from a person was an instant rush” for him.
Writer Mahima Kukreja levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Gursimran Khamba, co founder of AIB who denied the allegation but insensitive tweets from Tanmay Bhatt exploded the whole situation and Hot Star and even Amazon Prime has cancelled the production of the country’s leading comic content-production house, All India Bakchod (AIB), Further AIB issued an statement that two of its four co-founders will be stepping down until further notice for their roles in alleged cases of sexual misconduct.
Many other leading male celebrities namely Rajat kapoor, Chetan Bhagat, Kailash Kher,Varun Grover have been deluged into the #MeToo waves which is actually a welcome step. There are many monsters with masks on their faces and power in their hands believing their invincibility. They always thought these sexual misconduct on little meek girls would go unnoticed and they could keep on preying,traumatizing a whole generation of young dynamic women out there to work with dignity.
But No ! Karma always finds a way! Lets just see what is more in the store!
We wish more such voices find their way to unmask these sexual predators and pave a smooth way for million other girls to work and live fearlessly.
It is Now or Never!!
PS- pictures of predators have been put to provide them more publicity. 😉