Actor Tanushree Dutta, who started the #MeToo movement in India last year, by speaking up about facing harassment at hands of actor Nana Patekar, has questioned the slow progress of the case. The #MeToo movement had taken the film industry by storm as many women came forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse. However Bollywood seems to have recovered from that blow and moved on, while those who dared to speak up still await justice.
What is the case?
Dutta had accused Patekar of allegedly sexually harassing her on the sets of Horn OK Please, while filming a song, around 10 years ago. She further alleged that at Patekar’s insistence, the film’s director had added an intimate scene in the song which originally just had Dutta dancing to it.
I knew I had to keep the dialogue going … and other women would speak out. I was in it deep – there was no way out. I was not going to cow down – not the second time for sure. – Tanushree Dutta.
Patekar though had defended himself, rubbishing, “all the accusations by actress Tanushree Dutta.”
Dutta had then proceeded to formally lodged a complaint to the police against Patekar. She has now questioned what is taking the police so long to come to a just conclusion. Reportedly, it has already been 6 months since the complaint had been filed by the former Miss India.
Why the delay?
According to a report, the police are finding it difficult to find witnesses who can corroborate Tanushree’s account. Around 12 to 15 eyewitnesses have recorded their statements. However none of them are able to recall what had exactly happened. This is because this incident happened over 10 years ago, in the year 2008.
Talking about those eyewitnesses, Tanushree wanted to know if those people were on her side or that of Patekar. However, she also made it clear that she does not need any witnesses to prove the fact that she had been harassed by Patekar on the sets of the film.
The cops have been so slow with the probe. Most of the people from whom they are taking statements are the ones who watched me getting harassed and did nothing to support me. – Tanushree Dutta
She later added that the mentality of people is such that they will automatically lie so as to protect criminals and prove the woman wrong. She even went on to say that people who are in support of her and want to record a statement are being threatened by Nana Patekar.
Notably, statements of actress Daisy Shah and choreographer Ganesh Acharya have been recorded by the police, as they were also present on the sets of the film.
Why it matters?
It was Tanushree’s allegations against Patenkar which opened the #MeToo floodgates in India. A lot of women in Bollywood have shown courage since then to speak up about facing abuse and harassment at hands of industry’s big wigs. Whatever happens in Dutta’s case is being keenly watched by people, both inside and outside the industry. The outcome of this case could in fact encourage more survivors to speak up.
Picture Credit: India Today
Kavya Shah is an intern at SheThePeople.Tv