The next time when you stand for your right as a Woman, please be prepared to hear your opponents say the most absurd comment –
“May be you are on periods that’s why you think or feel that way!”
Despite being a completely natural bodily function, affecting more than half of the world’s population, and being responsible for our very existence, periods have been seen as a subject to attack women.
Several personalities have come in support of Tanushree Duta after she accused veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008.
However, there are yet others, who have dismissed and mocked at Tanushree’s story. They called it an over-reaction and worse.
Some people went ahead and said that Why Now? Why after 10 years?
We were still trying to digest people dismissing Tanushree’s story on the ground of mere timeframe delay and asking – Why Now? Why After 10 Years?
But what disgusted us, was the released tapes that were captured in a sting operation by Times Now. We can see the Producer of Horn Ok Pleassss Samee Siddiqui, the film’s director Rakesh Sarang, the Cine & TV Artists Association (CINTAA) member Raza Murad and former FTII chairperson Gajendra Chauhan, all caught on tape mocking Tanushree.
These people kept making sexist comments and remarks amounting to victim shaming.
Sameer Siddiqui shared the most sickening comment
“Should I tell you the truth? I feel that day she was on her periods. So, you get irritated. Small touch or maybe something else, even I don’t know what exactly happened because I wasn’t there”
I feel that day she was on her periods: Samee Siddiqui, Producer of film Horn Ok Please. WATCH Sting tape number 4
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) October 4, 2018
Even though Sameer was not there, but it did not stop him from giving his assessment of Tanushree’s claim of sexual harassment.
Gajendra Chauhan, who headed the scrutiny panel at CINTAA when Tanushree submitted a written complaint about the sexual harassment she allegedly faced on set, washed CINTAA’s hands off the incident.
He went on to say that the burden of proof was on Tanushree since she is the victim.
When the reporter pointed out that there were many people on the set who could be called as witnesses, Gajendra said,
“Ask them to come to court and speak. If it comes to going to court or police, not one of them will come forward.”
What can CINTAA do? It cannot act like police. First prove yourself a victim, from the last 10 years she is roaming like a victim: Gajendra Chauhan, Actor #TanushreeVsBollywood pic.twitter.com/zQCuIYbi4Z
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) October 4, 2018
His statement is the exact reason why the cases of sexual harassment don’t get the justice in court.
Incidentally, CINTAA on Tuesday issued a statement in support of Tanushree.
“CINTAA strongly condemns any act that outrages the modesty of any individual and any form of sexual harassment is unacceptable to us, … After going through Tanushree Dutta’s complaint, which was filed with the then Executive Committee of CINTAA in March 2008, we feel that the decision was taken in the Joint Dispute Settlement Committee of CINTAA and Indian Film and TV Producers Council…in July 2008 was not appropriate, as the chief grievance of sexual harassment wasn’t even addressed.”
But if that’s not outrageous enough, then hear how our country’s so-called powerful men try to suppress the voice of a vice by blaming it a publicity stunt.
Director Rakesh said on the leaked tapes:
“Now girls are giving their bedroom sex videos on the internet. This is what has happened to this industry. People are taking their clothes off for publicity. Their attitude is, so what if we get a bad name, at least we’ll get publicity”
But the question is not whether it is for publicity or not – the question is whether it really happened. There is a much easier way to get publicity than to talk about a #MeToo incident and fight a court battle against the most powerful people.
When asked what Raza Murad thought about the case, Raza said: “she’s over-reacting”. He even backed Nana Patekar who he described as “no sweet talker, but a gentleman”.
And though Raza is CINTAA’s executive committee member, he feels no shame in accepting the fact that he doesn’t know anything about the Vishakha guidelines on probing sexual harassment cases.
We understand that it is the only judicial system that has the power to tell us who is guilty and who isn’t? But, what we expect from people is to stop demeaning the courage of any person who comes forward against sexual harassment.
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