The #MeToo movement of the West had taken the World by storm, as many prominent Hollywood celebrities came out in the open about facing sexual assault thus giving voice to the common women to speak without fear of being ridiculed. But the movement did not get a hold in Bollywood, where the stories of casting couch has been spoken about in hushed tones and behind closed doors since ages.
It is no secret that women have been subjected to sexual assaults since long, but rarely has anyone opened up on the subject with a vengeance. However, we cannot deny or brush it under the carpet as it is a serious offence that causes immense trauma to the victim not only on a physical level but also on an emotional and mental level. The victims are unable to come to terms and most of the time consider themselves guilty.
It was not until recently that someone decided to finally take a step forward and talk about sexual assault in Bollywood in public. We recently heard a lone voice from the industry from a gutsy actress who decided to take the devil by its horn. Yes, we are talking about none other than actress Tanushree Dutta, who has been absent from the big screen since long. The ‘Aashiq Banaya Apne’ actress has shocked the Bollywood fraternity by opening up on the taboo subject which is known to all but they prefer to turn a blind eye to the major skeleton hidden in the cupboard of the entertainment industry.
Yes, with Tanushree Dutta’s allegations, if proven in the court of law against actor Nana Patekar, the #METoo movement might take seed in Bollywood too.
Tanushree has claimed that Nana Patekar changed some dance steps to touch her inappropriately while shooting for a solo dance number in the film ‘Horn Ok Pleassss’ in 2008. She also blamed the director and the producer along with choreographer Ganesh Acharya for not taking a stand on her behalf. Both Nana and Ganesh have reacted to the allegations and said that no such sexual harassment took place.
Since her allegations, the actress has been accused by many that it is just a stunt to be in the limelight but what the accusers fail to realise is the fact that it is not easy for the victim to open up on the subject in a patriarchal society like ours, where the man is considered as the Alpha male and women are given a secondary position. Women here are expected to pamper the male ego and even bear their wrath.
But we should for once give such incidents a serious thought. Many are questioning Tanushree about why she waited ten years to open up. But have these accusers ever thought what a woman undergoes after going through the trauma? She freezes, she is scared to face the world the same way and is scared to look at men the way she used to. It takes her a long time to free her mind from it and I think no matter when the assaults are reported, such allegations by the victims are just as valid now as they were when it happened. Which is why assaults should be investigated fairly now and always. We should not let anything hinder the investigation so that the culprit is finally brought to task.
The good part (and the reason why we think this might be the start of the #MeToo Movement) is that, that a number of big Bollywood names have stepped forward to lend their support to Tanushree. From Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Varun Dhawan, Parineeti Chopra and many more have not just applauded and supported Tanushree, but has also giving her the much-needed solace against the legal notices sent to her by Nana Patekar and the others. It seems like finally, the #MeToo Movement is all set to roll out in Bollywood too, therefore we do hope that justice prevails and the truth is finally out.
Be it Tanushree who opened up after ten years or Padma Laxmi who was raped by her boyfriend when she was sixteen and had the guts to reveal it at the age of 36 or someone like a Daisy Irani who did it after 60 years, don’t you feel that no matter when the victim opens up about such heartbreaking instances, they have a right to justice?