Shushed, disregarded and even scorned, sexual assaults are as much a topic of fear for women anywhere in the world. Rarely do they speak up – but it does happen from time to time and the stories of their experiences are shocking and sometimes horrendous.
The #MeToo movement started in the West last year became the voice of famous personalities as well as common women from across the world – to come out with their experiences of sexual harassment. But Bollywood continues to maintain a diplomatic stand on the sexual harassment cases that manage to surface in the film industry. The Tanushree Datta vs. Nana Patekar case is one such example.
But as days pass, several celebrities including Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Sonam K. Ahuja, Hansal Mehta, Twinkle Khanna, Richa Chadha and Swara Bhaskar and now Renuka Sahane have voiced their support for the actor and have urged their followers to not suppress Tanushree’s voice.
In a recent interview, Dutta had said Patekar misbehaved with her on the sets of ‘Horn Ok Pleasss’ 10 years ago. The actor also alleged that Patekar had the tacit support of the film’s makers. In a lengthy Twitter post, journalist Janice Sequeira narrated her account of the incident, provoking many from the Hindi film industry to react to Tanushree’s allegations.
Such moments are not easy–not for the accused, not for their fans and certainly not for the victims. But it’s important to bring the reality to surface.
But people should understand that it’s okay to reveal sexual harassment, no matter when. With such other cases that came up recently showing the ugly side of the industry, the question lies, “Is the work environment not safe for women in the film industry?” This will discourage and demotivate girls having dreams to work in films and television. How will they work if they’re feeling unsafe and vulnerable?
So women should understand, especially in our country where crime against them is increasing day by day that they need to speak up without being afraid. No matter how much time has passed or which industry are they working for, safety and security is more important than work. This will even help other women find the courage to fight against this crime and harassment.
Sexual harassment is a very serious crime, not just because of what the victim has to go through physically, mentally and emotionally, but because it is so prevalent. Ultimately, only a court of law can determine whether an allegation is true or false. But it is important to stress that no one should be given a time limit to report the crime.