The #metoo movement is been hailed as a big success in the international arena where women are coming forward to speak about sexual harassment and abuse undergone by them. On the other hand, the campaign won’t click in India as those women who have spoken about becoming victims of sexual harassment have been looked down by the society. All of us speak about women empowerment and gender equality but when they come forward to share their stories about sexual assault on social media, they are trolled. Thus, Indian women still have a long way before they gain acceptance for speaking about becoming victims of sexual harassment.
Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi might be speaking highly of the #metoo campaign but it has become a forum for rich women to share about the sexual harassment experienced by them. On the other hand, the ordinary women and those who become victims of domestic violence suffer in silence as they don’t get justice. Through this campaign, women can harass, threaten, and blackmail men without providing any concrete evidence. Even if their allegations are proven wrong, no action is being taken against them. If false allegations are made against men, then they end up losing their job and reputation.
Actor Anant Mahadevan stated that initially, this moment started because of Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood. He said, “Probably ladies in India now have the courage to come out and speak up in the open. All these years, especially in the 80s and 90s, there have been several Harvey Weinsteins in Bollywood but nobody came out in open to talk about sexual harassment happening with them. So, it is difficult to know the complete picture. It is a ruthless world out there. Hence, if people are getting exposed now, it will be a better future where people won’t take disadvantage or mistreat women.”
“Right now also, there are only a few people talking about it. Certainly, it is a beginning of the awareness. Perhaps, I cannot say that there can ever be an end to this because this world is full of vulturous men not only in Bollywood but also at other workplaces as well, it is difficult to ensure the safety of women anywhere,” he added.
When Tanushree Dutta had made accusations of sexual harassment against Nana Patekar, many people questioned that why did the actress remain silent over this issue for 10 long years and why she has raised this issue now. Many also said that the actress might be indulging in this act just for the sake of gaining publicity. Farah Khan had gone ahead and posted a picture with Nana Patekar few hours after Tanushree had made allegations against him. She received flak for posting her photos with Nana Patekar on social media. On the other hand, Nana Patekar termed the allegations made against him as baseless and stated that truth will be unveiled. He also has sent a legal notice to Tanushree on charges of defamation. Besides Nana Patekar, Tanushree also has made allegations against choreographer Ganesh Acharya, producer Sama Siddiqui, and Vivek Agnihotri, Director of the movie Chocolate.
Author Roxy Arora said, “As an Indian woman, I think that most of the females here are insecure. It is sad that they never stand up for each other and have anarchy things to say about each other. In Bollywood, nowadays, young stars have an inside connection. Hence, a director or an actor would be nice to that person whose father is well connected. While other women like Tanushree, who would come up and speak the truth even after a few years, does not have an easy life as not all of us come from a high pedigree family.”
“As a woman, I feel that we always live in a fear and we need to have someone to protect us. I don’t know why always women are blamed and considered as the weaker sex? Perhaps, is it just because we have been following a patriarchal society? Even in the movies, we tend to have a glimpse of hypocrisy with one side modernisation but at another side it also glorifies Jauhar,” he added.
Another actress who refused to disclose her name had made allegations against Queen Director Vikas Bahl for sexually harassing her. Speaking to Miss Malini, the actress recalled how she had gone to a party with at least 20 people and the 47-year-old director allegedly got really drunk (or pretended to be) and he forcibly tried to kiss her on her lips. She pushed him and left immediately. The actress also alleged that Vikas pretends to be drunk. The actress added that Bahl’s former wife knew about his behaviour. He basically ruined her life. Queen actress Kangana Ranaut too lent her support for Tanushree and has shared few awkward moments she experienced with Bahl.
Allegations have also been made against a few other celebrities as a part of the MeToo campaign in the country. Few women including minor had accused stand-up comedian Utsav Chakraborty of sexually harassing them on social media. Stand-up comedian Aditi Mittal had called out All India Bakchod (AIB) for continuing to employ Chakraborty despite being aware of his character. Meanwhile, Tanmay Bhat will stay away from his association with AIB while Gursimran Khamba will take a leave of absence after the MeToo allegations against the Indian celebrities surfaced on social media. Despite being aware of the allegation of misconduct against Utsav Chakraborty, Tanmay failed to take action against him.
Author Chetan Bhagat landed himself in a big trouble after the screenshots of a conversation between him and a woman surfaced on social media. In the screenshots of Whatsapp Chat shared by the woman, Chetan had written that he was trying to woo her. Since he was married, the woman was not interested in him. Through his Facebook post, the author accepted that the screenshots were genuine. He also apologised to his wife.
A journalist shared a post on Twitter wherein two women had accused actor Rajat Kapoor of misconduct. One of the two women who is a journalist had interviewed him on phone. He misbehaved with her by asking awkward questions like ‘are you as sexy as you sound’ and also inquired about her body measurements.