#MeToo: When women in Bollywood fought back
Published on September 23, 2020 at 11.11
Payal Ghosh Vs Anurag Kashyap
Actress Payal Ghosh filed an FIR on Tuesday against director Anurag Kashyap, accusing him of sexual harassment. Anurag Kashyap has called these allegations 'baseless' and actresses including Taapsee Pannu and Huma Qureshi leapt to his defence. He was also defended by his ex-wives Aarti Bajaj and Kalki Koechlin. This is not the first time a Bollywood personality has been under scrutiny for alleged inappropriate behaviour. The #MeToo movement in India was kickstarted when actress Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of harassment on the sets of a film over a decade ago.
Tanushree Dutta Vs Nana Patekar
Dutta accused her co-star Nana Patekar of misbehaving with her while shooting for a song for their 2008 film Horn Ok Pleasss, and choreographer Ganesh Acharya of introducing new steps which were "intimate". Dutta said that even though Acharya was aware of the harassment she faced he went on to ruin her reputation. In July 2019 Mumbai police filed a B summary report, which means they couldn’t find enough evidence against the actor. In December 2019 Dutta filed a petition before a court in Mumbai to oppose the report.
Simran Suri Vs Sajid Khan
In October 2018 actress Simran Suri accused director Sajid Khan of harassment, alleging he ‘pulled down her top’ when she went to meet him for a project in 2012. Three other women had already accused Khan of misbehaviour - actresses Saloni Chopra, Rachel White and journalist Karishma Upadhyay. Sajid later stepped down as director of Housefull 4, and tweeted, “In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of my film ‘Housefull 4’, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth... I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgment till the truth is out.”
Sona Mohapatra Vs Kailash Kher
In a series of tweets in 2018, Sona Mohapatra accused fellow singer Kailash Kher of sexually harassing her. “I met Kailash for coffee in Prithvi Café to discuss a forthcoming concert where both our bands were playing & after the usual, a hand on my thigh with lines likes, your so beautiful, feel so good that a ‘musician got you’ (Ram) not an actor. I left not soon after (sic),” she tweeted. Other women spoke up to accuse Kher of misbehaviour. While the singer apologised, Mohapatra said it was ‘too little, too late’.
Navneet Nishan Vs Alok Nath
Star of the show Tara, also starring Alok Nath, Nishan spoke about about the harassment she faced by the actor after Tara writer Vinta Nanda, in a Facebook post, accused Nath of sexual assault on multiple occasions. Nissan commented on the issue by saying, “It is unimaginable. I dealt with the four year harassment by slapping the man in question and it is done and dusted. l suffered the loss of the show and was further shamed by the man through media and I endured that. I fought my battles there and then. I am immensely glad that the power trip and sexual dominance coming from this power is being called out. It is high time.”