Bollywood sees its own ‘#MeToo’ campaign now

Bollywood sees its own ‘#MeToo’ campaign now

Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood actresses are finally speaking up against sexual harassment they faced in the industry.

It all started with former Miss India, Tanushree Dutta, who shared her traumatising experience with Nana Patekar, choreographer Ganesh Acharya and director Vivek Agnihotri on the movie sets of ‘Horn Ok Please’ and ‘Chocolate’. 

Though she received mixed responses from the industry, actors like Priyanka Chopra, Twinkle Khanna, Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor came out in support.

Joining the bandwagon now are Pooja Bhat and Kangana Ranaut who narrated their personal incidences recently.

During an interview, Kangana revealed that Vikas Bahl, director of ‘Queen’, used to bury his face in her neck, hold her tight and breathe in the smell of her hair during the movie promotions and parties.

A former employee of Phanton Films also accused Vikas Bahl of sexually assaulting her in 2015 at a hotel in Goa. She claimed that filmmaker Anurag Kashyap was told about this but he didn’t take any action. As a result, she quit the company two years later.

Kashyap confirmed the incident saying that he cannot blame anyone else but himself and what Bahl had done was horrifying. Pooja Bhat, on the other hand, spoke about her abusive boyfriend who assaulted her sexually and mentally. To make matters worse, when she decided to open up about these incidences, she received a backlash from the fraternity asking her ‘why she was washing her dirty linen in public?’

Author Chetan Bhagat was also pulled into a controversy by a woman when she posted screenshots of a chat between the two of them. Bhagat had said that he wanted to woo her and ignored her protests that he was married. He later took to Facebook with a post “apologising to the person concerned” and said that he had felt “a strong connection” and maybe that he had “misread the friendliness”.

The latest in this string are sexual harassment allegations against writer and comic Utsav Chakraborty. Comedy collective AIB announced that it was cutting off all ties with Utsav after it was revealed that he had sexually harassed a colleague despite her telling the team about it. Several other women have also come forward with complaints against him. AIB issued an apology for failing to take action. So, is India seeing its own version of #MeToo and #TimesUp campaign now? We’ll soon find out.