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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?”
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