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Actress Tanushree Dutta is perhaps the first woman from Bollywood to show such courage, to openly name the man who harassed her. It takes guts to speak up in an environment where speaking up can really hurt your career.
When the wave of the #MeToo movement swept through Hollywood bringing down one famous actor after another, I’d often wondered, ‘What about our Bollywood? Will anyone ever be courageous enough to come forward and name such men?’
Actress Tanushree Dutta is perhaps the first woman from Bollywood to show such courage. In a recent interview with Zoom TV, the actress blamed well known actor Nana Patekar for sexually molesting her on the sets of Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss in 2008.
According to the actress, Nana Patekar insisted that he be present in a song which was meant to be Dutta’s solo performance. Even though there was no mention of it on the contract, Nana Patekar not only butted into the song sequence but also put steps according to his own wishes, that gave him several opportunities to mishandle Dutta.
She went ahead to add that not a single person in the industry stood beside her when she’d voiced her concerns about the same. Dutta was later removed from the film and the film’s producer Sami Siddiqui, director Rakesh Sarang and choreographer Ganesh Acharya vowed to never work with her. Not only that, according to a reporter who was an eyewitness to the event, Tanushree Dutta’s car was attacked by goons, her windows smashed and she had to be picked up from the sets by her parents!
So, for all those asking the question about why she is coming out now, she had protested about Nana Patekar’s misbehaviour then and there. She’d also given interviews about the same, but…NOTHING HAPPENED to Patekar or to any of the other men whose blind acceptance of the incident might have helped men like Patekar get away with so many such incidents.
Not only was Dutta victim blamed, according to the actress, Nana Patekar called up a local political party whose goons came to intimidate her. She added that not a single person condemned Nana Patekar’s actions and that just because she was a newbie to the industry, it wasn’t considered a big deal to ask her to do intimate scenes even if those weren’t required in the film.
Given below, is the video clip from 2008 which shows how Dutta’s car was attacked and how the film’s cast blamed Dutta for misbehaving.
It is simply shameful that just because an actress is a newcomer and she is known to do glamorous roles, that she be mistreated in this manner. No woman, irrespective of who they are, deserves this kind of treatment. Period.
After hearing this tragic account, do we still need to ask why most women remain silent? To all those people still showing sympathies towards men like Nana Patekar, because of their great performances and charity work, I have a few things to ask you:
Do you really know everything that is to know about these men to give them a clean chit?
How can you simply ignore another human being’s plea for justice on the basis of your blind admiration?
Finally, if something like this happened to you or someone you know and no one believed you then, would you still defend such men?
To quote the eyewitness, Janice Sequeira, “It could have possibly been the first instance of a Bollywood actress calling out sexual predators, and her voice was silenced by more powerful men who continued to have flourishing careers. Now she’s found her voice again. Shouldn’t we listen?”
Kasturi’s debut novel, forthcoming in early 2021, had won the novel pitch competition by Half Baked Beans Publishers.
She won the Runner Up Position in the Orange Flower Awards 2021 for Short Fiction.
Her read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Every daughter, no matter how old, yearns to come home to her parents' place - ‘Home’ to us is where we were brought up with great care till marriage served us an eviction notice.
Every year Dugga comes home with her children and stays with her parents for ten days. These ten days are filled with fun and festivity. On the tenth day, everyone gathers to feed her sweets and bids her a teary-eyed adieu. ‘Dugga’ is no one but our Goddess Durga whose annual trip to Earth is scheduled in Autumn. She might be a Goddess to all. But to us, she is the next-door girl who returns home to stay with her parents.
When I was a child, I would cry on the day of Dashami (immersion) and ask Ma, “Why can’t she come again?” My mother would always smile back.
I mouthed the same dialogue as a 23-year-old, who was home for Durga Puja. This time, my mother graced me with a reply. “Durga is fortunate to come home at least once. But many have never been home after marriage.”
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