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Ranting on public platform not enough, police action needed: Pooja Bhatt on #MeToo

Actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt says she is happy that #MeToo movement has helped women come out with their stories of harassment but believes allegations need to be followed up with serious action instead of “ranting on public platform”.

A string of cases gave birth to India’s #MeToo chapter last September, with women from all walks of life coming forward to demand for a safer work environment.

“One should take names. One should file a case and take the person to court. Just ranting on a public platform with no thought towards the consequences, I think, is a bit too much,” Pooja told agencies.

She contends that the movement should not be limited to social media and rather be dealt properly with the help of law.

“If a man has made an overture at you and is harassing you, there is a law that protects you. Ranting on Twitter and not backing it up with a police complaint (does not help)… I am not interested in a media trial,” she adds.

The actor-director said that she too has been a victim of sexual harassment.

“It’s a fallacy, I have had my share. Which woman has not dealt with somebody putting their hand on the butt? When I used to go to school by train, I have got my butt pinched. But we were trained to take on that person.”

In 2002, Pooja had confessed that she was in an abusive relationship with an actor. She said that she was then accused of washing her “dirty linen in public” by the industry.

“I felt I must talk about it as I represent courage and strength to the world. That time it was not considered fashionable to talk about it. I got a lot of flak for it. Saif Ali Khan and John Abraham were couple of few people who stood up for me. Everyone from Shekhar Suman to Ruby Bhatia said, ‘How can I talk about all this in public?’ For me, it was not about him or me, it was about something larger. We need to empower our women to speak,” she added.

On the work front, Pooja’s home production film “Cabaret” is currently streaming and she is set to make a comeback to acting with “Sadak 2”. The actor will also be seen in a web series based on Abheek Barua’s book, “A City of Death”.

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