#MeToo- another one bites the dust

M J AKBAR
Share it:



In the aftermath of the scandalous Nana Patekar- Tanushree Dutta saga that has taken the entire nation by storm, there has been a resurfacement of the #MeToo movement that has seen quite a number of celebrities and prominent personalities coming out open in the public domain with shocking revelation of harassment episodes.

tanushree-and-nana
Source: Free Press Journal

In what seems to be a never ending list of burst outs that have catapulted sexual harassers to the pinnacle of public scrutiny and shame, more and more women have been coming out with painful retellings of their traumatic encounters and seems to have find the courage to make acceptance of their horrifying experiences as they seek to name and shame the perpetrators, while putting an end to such ‘connoisseurs’ of emotional and physical torture, once and for all.

With yesteryear’s writer- producer- director Vinta Nanda having alleged Bollywood actor Alok Nath of harassment and rape, the intensity of the issue that has now reached epic proportions is palpable. For, when supposedly “the most ‘sanskaari’ (cultured) person in the film and television industry” has been embroiled in the controversy and with the magnitude of the ‘assault’ that has been evident from Nanda’s post, it is only certain that prevalent image of personalities does nothing to define their true ‘identities’.

Allegations against Alok Nath have also been leveled by actress Sandhya Mridul who faced the ordeal while shooting for a telefilm with the veteran actor.

Even the ‘outspoken’ and fearless Kangana Ranaut had to wait for this ‘opportunity’ to make public similar allegations of misconduct against Vikas Bahl, the director of her film Queen that had ironically been the game changer for her. So, does the credibility of ‘daunting’ women unafraid to speak out even in the face of public ridicule still hold?

Perhaps so. For, maybe it’s not so much a matter of might than it is of conquering the trauma and continuing with life bravely even when the odds are heavily stacked against you. Indeed, to come out of the deep abyss of the emotional blackhole that had sucked you in is truly a fear conquered.

#metoo
Source: South China Morning Post

That’s exactly what the nation has been witnessing as it prepares to deal with such burgeoning number of shockballs that have rattled the collective psyche of just how impossible it is to decipher creeps as they hide cowardly behind the veil of a cynical ambiguity.

And as writers and journalists, celebrities and stars lend voice to their buried experiences of horror in the wake of the new found reality, #MeToo have been revived and re instigated like no other time.

As eminent journalist and writer Sandhya Menon recounted the sexual harassment she allegedly faced from two senior editors, KR Sreenivas and Gautam Adhikari, another fellow writer Sonora Jha also chose to make public her account of assault by Adhikari way back in 1995.


Well known parody group All India Backchod (AIB) also could not steer clear of such accusations, as writer Mahima Kukreja came all out against a significant member of the group Utsav Chakraborty. Interestingly, co- founder of AIB Tanmay Bhatt was aware of the incident and has now stepped down in the face of his inaction in the purported matter.


Another AIB co founder Gursimran Khamba was also similarly accused by another woman. Khamba, however, has refuted all such charges levelled against his person.

Elsewhere, Hindustan Times’ chief of bureau and political editor Prashant K Jha stepped down after he was accused of making sexual passes by former employee Avantika Mehta.

Prashant-Jha
Source: Bollywood

Times of India Resident Editor KR Sreenivas also has been accused of sexual harassment by as many as seven women who want his employment to be terminated immediately.

Principal correspondent at the Business Standard Mayank Jain is also undergoing an internal inquiry after reporter Anoo Bhuyan termed him a sexual predator, along with another journalist following suit.

Former editor at Huffington Post, Anurag Verma has also been similarly accused of misconduct to which he responded by saying that he intended to pass off such stuff as ‘humour’.

Bollywood actor and film maker Rajat Kapoor was also accused of harassment by a journalist who was asked if ‘she was as sexy as she sounded’. Another assistant director accused the actor of persistently nagging her to shoot alone with him, while calling up still another woman 17 times, after they shared their contacts for work.

rajat-kapoor
Source: Rediff.com

A former editor and now a junior external affairs minister in the Narendra Modi government, M.J. Akbar has also been accused of inappropriate conduct. The founding editor of one of the leading Indian dailies The Telegraph, Akbar was accused by journalist Priya Ramani in an open letter she penned down for Vogue last year after the outbreak of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, that fueled the #MeToo movement.

Singer Kailash Kher is among the latest accused of sexual misconduct by fellow singer Sona Mahapatra and at least four other women.


Incidentally, the legendary singer had also accused musician Anu Malik of similar indecent behavior, terming him a ‘repeat offender’.

Bollywood actor Rohit Roy also found him enlisted as an accusee, as an unnamed women alleging that she had received suggestive messages from Roy when she was 16. Roy, however, has denied all such accusations, claiming that the purported account wasn’t even his.

rohit roy
Source: Times Now

Singer Chinmayi Sripada on Twitter shared the account of a woman who has accused another musician Raghu Dixit of harassment, labeling him as being one ‘among the top predators’.

This, after she had shared her personal experience of being encountered with inappropriate conduct by veteran Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu during a foreign tour more than a decade back.

Begum Jaan director Srijit Mukherji has also been accused of harassment, to which he responded by saying that his purview of the matter was that it was ‘consensual’ and was equally participated in by the accusing party.

And in yet another shocking revelation of sorts, comedian Aditi Mittal has been accused by fellow stand- up comic artist Kaneez Surka, with the former allegedly kissing her colleague forcefully while on stage.


Ironically, Mittal has been a vocal supporter and propagator of the movement against harassment and the allegations that dates back two years have seriously been a bolt out of the blue for the artist as well as for her followers. But perhaps that’s what the #MeToo movement is all about. Demasking people who are their civilized best in the public psyche while revealing their darker undertones only to those they consider vulnerable. But it’s only a matter of time that the victims gather the courage to overcome the trauma and come out all open in the public realm to not let these culprits go untarnished. Indeed, it’s #TimesUp for all those people who think they can escape their deeds if they carry them out under the veil of deception.

And now the latest celebrity to have been gripped in the controversy is celebrity consultant Suhel Seth who has been accused by at least four different women of sexual misconduct. Filmmaker Natashja Rathore, 27, 33-year-old journalist Mandakini Gahlot who has worked at The Indian Express, while yet another anonymous woman alleged similar misconduct against the 55 year old mogul.

Bollywood director Sajid Khan has also been accused of harassment by model- actor Saloni Chopra as well as by freelance Bollywood journalist and by actor Rachel White in separate allegations.


And Khan in his response while accepting moral responsibility, stepped down from the post of director of his upcoming film Housefull4, which also saw the film’s lead Akshay Kumar ask the film’s  producers to “cancel the shoot until further investigation”.

Netflix’s first India original series Sacred Games might also see its sequel in jeopardy after the writer of the show Varun Grover had also been embroiled in the #MeToo bashings.

varun grover
Source: India Today

Stree actor Flora Saini also has accused film maker Gaurang Doshi of sexual misconduct, which the latter has denied and even called it out as a publicity stunt.

Ace journalist and father of comedienne Mallika Dua, Vinod Dua has also been embroiled in the MeToo controversy as documentary film maker Nishtha Jain accused Dua of sexually harassing her atleast three decades ago.

Actor-model Kate Sharma has spoken out about allegedly being sexually harassed by Subhash Ghai, saying that the filmmaker tried to forcibly kiss her. This, after an anonymous woman had accused the ace film person of assaulting her after having spiked her drink. Ghai, however, had tweeted about his support for the MeToo movement, after refuting all such allegations.

Ace Bollywood actor Vicky Kaushal’s father have also been dragged into the ongoing speak outs against harassment by Nameeta Prakash, who has worked as an assistant director on films like Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, Ab Tak Chappan and Monorama Six Feet Under, has spoken about Sham’s sexual misconduct on Twitter.

With more and more names of famous personalities emerging each day in the saga of ordeals that has taken the entire nation by storm, it seems like the movement won’t be running out of steam anytime soon!

Share it:

Comments