#MeToo: Padma Bhushan Artist Jatin Das Accused Of Harassment

#MeToo India Jatin Das

Painter, sculptor and Padma Bhushan awardee Jatin Das, 76, has been accused of sexual harassment by two women. The two women who have accused him are Mumbai-based entrepreneur Nisha Bora, and writer-voluntarist, Garusha Katoch.

Nisha’s incident dates back to 2004

Nisha took to Twitter on Tuesday and accused Das of forcing himself on her at a time when she was visiting his studio in Delhi’s Khidki Village in 2004. The incident, she writes, happened after she spent a day working for him at his home in Asiad Village. “The next thing I knew, he attempted to grab me. I wriggled out of his embrace, flustered. Then he did it again. This time he managed a clumsy kiss on my lips,” she wrote.

Das has, however, denied these allegation. “I don’t recollect her at all — face, name or anything. They are saying my residence was at Asiad Village, which is right, but anybody can refer to a place. The allegation is cheap and vulgar. Right now I am just shocked,” he told The Indian Express.

Nisha has said she was 28 then and was introduced to Das by her family at a dinner event. Following the introduction, Das invited her to assist him in his work. “I recall the feeling of his beard on my skin. I pushed him away and moved away from him,” she wrote.

Nisha shared that an Instagram post accusing Das prompted her to share her story as well. The post was shared on Monday on Scene And Herd, an anonymously run account that has been sharing stories of abuse from within the art world.

Writer Garusha Katoch’s allegations

Soon after, Garusha Katoch also took to Twitter to accuse Das of inappropriate behaviour during her time as an intern at the Jatin Das Centre of Art. Das, whose office had five or six interns, tried to “alienate” her from the others, recalled Garusha. She accused him of taking advantage of her.

The #MeToo movement in India, has started a storm that is taking down powerful men, across industries, one by one. Some of them are Union minister MJ Akbar, actor Alok Nath, filmmakers Vikas Bahl, Subhash Ghai and Sajid Khan former Hindustan Times political editor Prashant Jha, The Times of India editors KR Sreenivas and Satadru Ojha, author Kiran Nagarkar, among others.

Featured Image Credit: India Today

Also Read: Of #MeToo, Sexual Overtures And The Road Ahead