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Tanushree Dutta On Sexual Harassment: What Actually Happened?

Workplace harassment is an issue that is present in all sectors of the industry. It is serious crime of unwelcoming or inappropriate touch. The range of harassment cannot be measured as how disturbing it can be for a woman is unimaginable.

Tanushree's Claim

Recently in Bollywood, actress Tanushree Dutta claimed that she was sexually harassed by Nana Patekar ten years back on the sets of 2008 film Horn Ok Please. She claimed that Nana Patekar changed some dance steps so that he could touch her inappropriately while shooting the item song.

She also alleged that upon Nana Patekar’s request goons from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) attacked her car while she and her father were inside it. She also claimed that film’s producer Samee Siddiqui, director Rakesh Sarang and choreographer Ganesh Acharya knew about the harassment. The producer apparently closed the gates of the studio so that Tanushree and her family could not leave. The gates were opened only when police arrived.

A Question Arises Why She Didn't Speak Back Then?

Tanushree had made the same accusations 10 years ago and Nana Patekar had denied them. An article in TOI and DNA had published the incident that happened back then. She had reported to Zoom about the incident and there is also a video of the people who mobbed her car in 2008.

How Did The News Break Out Now?

Last year's #MeToo movement in the West became the voice of Hollywood actors and famous personalities as well as common women from across the world - to come out with their experiences of sexual harassment. The movement was initiated by Tarana Burkhe and her story as a victim and now a survivor of sexual harassment.

Recently in an interview with News18, Tanushree was asked about the #Metoo movement in Bollywood industry to which, she said,

“We can’t expect change until what happened to her in 2008 is acknowledged.” 

Since then many news channels have interviewed Tanushree regarding the incident.

Janice Sequeira, a reporter, came out in support of Dutta, claiming on Twitter that she witnessed all of this. She tweeted: 

pic courtesy: twitter

pic courtesy: twitter
After her tweet, many Bollywood actors and journalist came forward in support of the bong actress.


The List Of Eye Witness Followed

After Janice Sequeira another senior journalist Wasim Akhter has come forward with his side of the story. In a conversation with Zoom Tv, Wasim told what actually happened that night. He told that how Tanushree Dutta's car got attacked by cameraman Pawan Bharadwaj, who was trying to invade in her privacy.

Shyni Shetty an assistant director on her first film said she saw the actor getting uncomfortable during a song rehearsal with Patekar and also confirmed about goons attacking the car with Tanushree and her parents in it.

She tweeted referring to Sequeira's posts, "Everything in this thread happened exactly the way it's written, I was proud of what you did then and I'm proud of you today."

Daisy Shah who was the Assistant Choreographer said that she sympathises with Tanushree and people should let her speak.

Does Speaking Need A Time Limit?

A serious crime like sexual harassment and rape doesn’t have an expiry date to talk about. When a woman is harassed say it by her co-workers, priests, cousins, boyfriends, uncles, fathers and grandfathers she is shocked as it happened with her, her soul dies. Before talking to others it becomes difficult to decide whether she should speak up or simply keep quiet.

pic courtesy: pinterest
Such incidents irrespective of gender break a person’s morale, self-esteem, and confidence to no extent. The people who are telling why now, after 10 years shows how narrow-minded our society is. The society needs to be aware that such issues can happen with their families too. By accusing of publicity stunt, feminist, character assassination, gender bias a victim should be heard. No wonder there are 80-90% of women who go through assault keep quiet for what she has the sole right to come into this world is ‘to protect her izzat’. Give them the courage to speak, take a stand. When a victim speaks they are fighting many odds inside and around them and it’s no one-day business to come out of fear, intimidation, shame and burden but years and years.

Recently many actresses came forward and shared their experience and that too after many years Sunny Leone (19 years), Daisy Irani (60 years), and Padma Lakshmi (36 years who was raped when she was 16 years old). Should we also call them publicity stunt?

In our society there is a fixed one line reaction ‘Jarur ladki ne hi kuch kia hoga’ say it for rape or assault. I do believe that woman also take undue advantage and lie to trap men. But yes, these are on 10:90 ratios. But because of these few, we cannot character assassinate the true victims. It is also true that all men are not bad and this is not about them. It about those who are accused and consider objectify women. By discouraging victim to speak is directly letting men to do it more.

India doesn’t need any movement to support harassment but just a sense of understanding for victims and giving a hearing to them. In this kalyug era, it is not about a specific gender but has the sense to differentiate between right or wrong.

Written by
Karishma Engineer

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