#MeToo: Tanushree Dutta wants justice. Will Bollywood listen this time?

Tanushree Dutta, former Miss India and actor has again accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her during the filming of a song for a film in 2008.

Dutta had spoken out 10 years ago. She is speaking now. Back then she was ostracized by the industry she was part of, she now has an audience from within it that is willing to listen – and even to support her.

The actor stated that Bollywood’s #MeToo moment won’t come until she gets justice.

The disturbing sequence of events unfolded a decade ago on the sets of ‘Horn Ok Pleassss’ was shared in a series of tweets by senior entertainment journalist Janice Sequiera (three of which have been attached below).

The account by Sequeira was shared by a few celebrities, who urged their millions of followers to read it. They also called on everyone to not shame the actor for her film choices.

Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan refuse to comment

Two of the biggest actors of the industry, Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, have refused to comment on the issue. That both had made their names (and lots of money) through their recent women-centric films is a separate matter. Other big names in the industry too have maintained a studious silence.

Perhaps this code of silence adopted by the majority is why, despite some public support for Tanushree, the response of the Indian film industry to the matter has been lukewarm.

Tanushree’s allegations against Nana Patekar are serious. While the vandalising of her car by a mob allegedly at the behest of the producers of the film was a direct assault on a person’s right to work in a safe environment.

Tanushree has spoken about all of it in the past.

Her narrative has remained the same for the past 10 years. But now the real question is whether Bollywood is going to listen to her, or simply shut its ears and hope the storm passes.

Legal notices sent to Dutta

Tanushree Dutta issued a statement saying she was slapped with two legal notices – one from Agnihotri and another from Nana Patekar.

Reacting strongly to the notices, Dutta said, ”  This is the price you pay for speaking out against harassment, humiliation and injustice in India.”

The actress claimed that both Nana’s and Vivek Agnihotr’is teams are on a smear campaign against her by constructing ‘outright lies and misinformation on social media platforms and other public platforms’.

She also alleged that efforts are made to silence her voice. Dutta said, ” Today while I was at home and the police personnel posted outside my home were on a lunch break two unnamed suspicious individuals tried getting into our home uninvited but were stopped just in time by security personnel in the building.

Later the police came back from their break and secured the premises again.Violent threats are being issued against me by the MNS party.”

Expressing trepidation about often long drawn legal processes, the actress said, ” I’m being threatened to be dragged into the court and legal system of India which we all know can keep a woman and her supporters as well as  media silent on the pretext of “matter subjudice” but can also further be used to harass her and drain her out financially.”

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Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

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