Mumbai: Indian film industry has always been constraint towards reporting the cases of sexual harassment but we have seen a change in recent past and all thanks to the #MeToo movement.
What is MeToo movement all about and where did it start from?
This new social media campaign is making rounds on internet making women and men more empowered to raise their voice against sexual harassment.
The phrase ‘MeToo’ was first used by an American social activist Tarana Burke in 2006 on Myspace social network. This was under a campaign to promote ’empowerment through empathy’.
Later, due to hashtag trend this phrase got a new look with similar objective to demonstrate the widely spread sexual assaults in society mainly at workplace.
Well, after knowing its origin and motive we could easily understand why women from all over the world are joining-in to voice up against sexual harassment. People have started sharing their stories, empathising with survivors, uniting and encouraging victims to take legal actions to get justice and to weed out such evil from the society.
In Indian context if we talk about Tanushree Dutta’s allegations against actor Nana Patekar are well received by many and people have started to join this thread of #Metoo. But in glamour industry it is often believed that one gets work by compromising on something. Actresses often shed moral and ethical values to enter in this industry and a proof of it is coming out through the #MeToo movement. Similar statements have been made by many well known personalities from the industry.
Saroj Khan had said that if you work in some other industry you won’t get such success and fame what you get here when you compromise. Such statements show how much it is common here to please someone’s sexual desires just to get a chance to showcase your talent.
Joining in the league is a famous actress of B’town Kangana Ranaut who is well known for her boldness and bluntness. From highlighting nepotism to sexual harassment at work, she becomes the badass of the Bollywood. Recently, the diva has extended her support to a victim from her ‘Queen’ movie sets against movie director Vikas Bahl. The actress also shared how Mr Bahl used to make her uncomfortable by hugging her and smelling her hair and telling her how much he loves the smell of Kangana’s hair.
Director Anurag Kashyap has also confirmed Bahl’s involvement in such assaults as he knows him from production unit ‘Phantom Films’.
When few people are taking stands, raising their voice against sexual harassment, some people still don’t miss the chance to criticise them for many reasons. Giving in account that Tanushree Dutta’s allegation came after 10 years. Enabling people to question her intentions and the authenticity of the incident. Some people have also claimed that many of them are misusing this platform and allegedly making such claims to hog publicity and limelight.
If we go deep into the issue we can not neglect the fact that Indian society still lags behind when it comes to women empowerment. Women faces harassment not only at workplace but also at home, within family and in public transportation. When a woman make complaints against such progressions by man they are either force to keep silence or lose their jobs.
It is easy to criticize someone for addressing any wrong after so long or to call their act as publicity stunt but it is difficult to put oneself in their shoes. There can be many angles to a story, we need to see it from every perspective to understand the root cause which will help us to evade the problem.
What if they tried to raise their voice against mishap but their voices were crushed? What if they didn’t have such movement like #Metoo, #SurvivorPrivilege, #WhatWereYouWearing and #YouOkSis? What if the society wasn’t technically sound to make such incidents Viral back then? What if victims kept mum thinking its normal (as everyone goes through it)? What if nothing encouraged them to come out and tell the world what they suffered?
Some celebs who are accused of sexually harassing women at work place under#Metoo movement are Chetan Bhagat, Kailash Kher, Vikas Bahl, Nana Patekar and Vivek Agnihotri.
There are many celebrities who have come out and spoke about this grieving issue in public. To name some celebrities who either shared their stories or acknowledged such incidents happening in the industry are Kangana Ranaut, Tanushree Dutta, Twinkle Khanna, Priyanka Chopra, Anurag Kashyap, Ayushmann Khurrana, Vidya Balan, Radhika Apte, Mallika Dua, Farhan Akhtar and Zaira Wasim.
From international platform Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman have criticised it strongly.
To do away with such problems we need to stop blaming victims and question their intentions but enable them with tools to fight such morons with legal actions. It is the time for unified actions by society at a large to come forward to end sexual harassment rather than being mute spectator.