This is the time to speak up: Tanushree

This is the time to speak up: Tanushree

Tanushree Dutta

In the wake of the wavelets of MeToo movement reaching India, actor Tanushree Dutta said many women do not break their silence on sexual harassment as they are afraid of ‘defamation’ cases or ‘losing assignments’ as consequences.

“It is an intimidation tactic to slap a notice on a woman who raises her voice. I have been facing a lot of backlash. A woman should be mentally prepared to face the consequences,” said the actor who stirred up a controversy two weeks ago with accusations of sexual harassment against senior actor Nana Patekar.

“Now is the right time to speak up as there is full momentum. Let them continue to slap notices. There are many groups and lawyers that are ready to take a stand for every woman. How many can they send notices to?” she said.

The actor was speaking at ‘We the Women’, an event organised here by UN Women, Facebook and PwC, hosted by journalist Barkha Dutta and attended by actors Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Vicky Kaushal and entrepreneur Shweta Bachchan Nanda.

Talking about the trauma that she underwent 10 years ago, Tanushree said: “I had lost all my confidence and could not walk into a film set the way I used to do before. Later, I was able to come back to my normal self by pursuing spirituality.”

“The awareness about the cause and effects of sexual harrassment is created and will continue to rise in India. I have a hope that this will lead to a positive result,” she said.

She said the names of perpetrators trending is fewer in number now and that the big fish are hidden. “When I talk about the issue I faced 10 years ago today, they call it a publicity stunt. That’s so unfortunate,” she said.

Sandhya Menon, a journalist who got into the thread of the MeToo campaign recently by revealing sexual harassment by one of her colleagues, said, “The perpetrators do not behave this way with everybody... When I was harassed, I was too young and had just entered my journalistic career. But now I feel that I had less to lose at that age, I should have spoken up.”