With the #MeToo movement gaining heat with every passing day, I cannot stop myself from thinking about how many ‘sanskari’ and ‘perfect role model’ actors must be having sleepless nights these days. The movement has clearly shaken the industry for the right as well as the wrong reasons. The right reason being it has provided some honest survivors the courage to share their ordeal. And he wrong reason being that some miscreants are misusing it for their own personal agenda and ulterior motives by leveling false allegations.
Ever since the movement has begun, the ironic thing that has surfaced is how fake these “so-called art creators” and stars of this industry are. On screen, they present themselves as the epitome of Indian cultures and values, the ‘idol son’ and what not, but off-screen? Well, you can’t even imagine how low they can stoop. Perhaps, it wouldn’t be wrong if we say that in real life, they are a perfect antithesis of their well-nurtured on-screen image.
It’s not that we are shocked by the aftermath of this #MeToo effect. After all, everybody knows what goes on behind closed doors in this industry. It’s just that the names that have been making their way to the alleged offenders’ list are shocking if their seniority and the popular image are taken into consideration.
After going through all the recent allegations and alleged offenders list, I wonder how aptly Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Page 3’ film, that released 13 years back, had depicted the dirty truth of our film industry. There is no place for trust and honour in this glamorous and glittery world of B-town stars. A filmmaker known for making women-centric films is actually the one who exploits the vulnerability of the thousands of the girls (and even boys) who flock to the city with the dream of making it big in Bollywood someday. Casting couch has been a part of this industry since time immemorial. Top stars taking advantage of young actresses, journalists being sacked for reporting the truth, the corrupt and the powerful forming a nexus – all these were a part of the film’s storyline. But as they say, art imitates life and vice versa, the exact same thing is playing out in front of our eyes these days.
In short, the Crusaders have been unmasked as the Oppressors thanks to the on-going movement. Thankfully, the #MeToo movement has succeeded in attacking this facade of the entire film industry.
Anurag Kashyap, who is otherwise known as the rebel of Bollywood has been himself embroiled in Vikas Bahl’s defamation case. Associations like CINTAA, who accepted that they didn’t handle Tanushree’s case properly ten years back, are being accused by the actress of failing to help her once again! Another question that arises is that how many A-list actresses have come forward to offer help (in any capacity) to contribute in this #MeToo movement? I can’t remember a single name. Or perhaps I am suffering from amnesia. Is just tweeting one’s solidarity with the survivors enough to bring any change?
Also, the trophy wives of these “respected stars and celebs”, who otherwise claim to be the front-runner of the feminist’s cause are now conveniently keeping themselves away from the entire issue after just making a comment or two on such a grave subject. Don’t forget that turning a blind eye or being complacent makes you equally guilty.
For the biggies of Bollywood, I have one simple question. What is stopping you people from coming forward and take firm action or at least provide legal aid to help the survivors? The most effective solution of this problem would be the big banners and top stars refusing to engage in any kind of work with the proven offenders. But instead of doing so, these people are busy pulling strings to the best of their capabilities in order to stop survivors from naming and shaming them in public domain. God knows how many more names are going to surface now.
For the ones who are genuinely working towards making the workplace environment a safer place for everyone irrespective of their gender, we salute you and keep up the good work. Your efforts may be a drop in the ocean but even that matters a LOT. Sacking or asking the alleged offenders to step down from their positions is a good move, but what next? Will the proven offenders be blacklisted or are they going to come back once everything settles down?
Lastly, a humble request to all those star-struck fans and followers out there. Stop worshiping and blindly following your favourite stars. Don’t admire the stars on the basis of their words, judge them by their actions. And love them for their body of work and not for their popularity.