Khodu Irani, owner of a popular Pune bar, High Spirits, has been accused of sexual harassment by many women on Twitter.
It started with blogger Sheena Dabholkar talking about how she was publicly shamed on the Facebook page of High Spirits. She said, “Both the owner and his cronies, all known misogynists were in on it. Neither I nor any of my friends have gone back to High Spirits.”
She said that Irani had harassed her and other women, by making sexist comments.
High Spirits has used the veil of family and home to normalise its abuse. A reminder that many many families are fucked up. pic.twitter.com/dY78I53tYf— Sheena (@weeny) October 14, 2017
Her tweet thread has gone viral and has been picked up by many comedians.
I knew about this behaviour at High Spirits since 2016. Heard about it from friends. I stopped taking shows there-but I never mentioned why.— Aditi Mittal (@awryaditi) October 14, 2017
I was once on stage at High Spirits when Khodu jumped onto stage and groped me, you know, coz I'm overweight.— Tanmay Bhat (@thetanmay) October 14, 2017
Many women spoke about how the owner had harassed them.
One user said that he knows twenty to thirty people who have all had to deal with this side of him. Khodu has unhooked bras, started into cleavage, and spoken very inappropriately to women over the years, he says
He also talks about how some women used to say that it is ok if he groped them once in a while, he always ensured that High Spirits was the safest place to be. “But it’s Khodu ya…” was a statement often heard.
Here are some of the stories of women who got harassed by Irani.
I have bad news for so many High Spirits deniers pic.twitter.com/4xLjtDjf65— Sheena (@weeny) October 14, 2017
As a man, I was called lame for pointing out the mysogynist vibe at High Spirits all these years. More power to @weeny— Himanshu Sharma (@Himanshuu_) October 14, 2017
Another user talks about how she used to try and laugh it off, thinking maybe he was too drunk to know what he was saying. She goes on to say how she soon realised how inappropriate his behaviour actually was
“Honestly I thought no one would ever speak up because everyone feels like they’re family at high, and nobody likes doing this to their family,” she said.
Many called Dabholkar a liar and an attention seeker. Instead of being supportive, people asked why they went back, and if they did, wasn’t this proof of Irani’s innocence?
Dabholkar also spoke about High Spirits' cult of 'family' to keep Khodu's indiscretions safe
People don't speak about their OWN abuse to protect hurt feelings in the family. That is #toxicmasculinity.— Sheena (@weeny) October 15, 2017
We encourage more and more women to speak out about harassment they have suffered on social media.