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Bollywood Is Making A Joke Of The Me Too Movement By Working With The Accused. Taapsee Pannu Says Keep Fighting!

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They say, sometimes you have to lose the battles in order to win the war. My agreement with this statement has been very relative in the past couple of months, especially in light of the #MeToo movement that has taken the world by a storm. The strong and gripping movement has driven change across nations with heads rolling as more crimes came to light. At first, we were delighted that Tanushree Dutta spoke up. In Bollywood, an industry that sweeps practically everything under the carpet, we thought nothing would happen. But things did. Nana Patekar was slammed for being creepy. Alok Nath was called out. Sajid Khan quit a movie. It was looking good. But then, we may have celebrated too early. Because despite their names being out in the open, despite women coming out and shouting hoarse about being exploited, these men lay low for a while and now, they are back in business. They are acting, directing – doing their thing and the entire movement has taken a hit.

The point of the movement was to bring people like them to justice for their actions. However Bollywood seems to not be taking such allegations seriously at all. Where on one end, we have people like Tanushree Dutta and Taapsee Pannu who are trying to further the cause; on the other end we have the rest of the fraternity that is welcoming such people with open arms and lead roles.

Be it actors like Rajat Kapoor or the now infamous Nana Patekar, or even celebrities like Chetan Bhagat, Kailash Kher, Raghu Dixit and the likes of them, they are all still being seen associated with the media industry, with the accusations having little or no bearing on the volume of work they are getting. Compare this to the West where men have been thrown out of shows where they were leads and you have an idea of how lightly we take women’s safety in this country. Kevin Spacey, a central character in House Of Cards was thrown out for sexual abuse.

Closer home, Bollywood has done us a great disservice by being rather comfortable with having these creeps around. But thankfully, not all voices have died down. Taapsee Pannu who has been very vocal about standing up for the cause recently commented by saying, “”Look, if the person who is accused of sexual harassment, doesn’t get punished, of course the spirit of the movement, the spirit of a woman who comes out with the story of abuse in public, gets shattered. However, that should not stop other girls from raising their voices if they are abused, because girls have stayed silent for ages. We all can see how a collective consciousness has come into the picture since the #MeToo movement started. Nothing will change overnight, but we should not give up on the situation and tolerate abuse.”

We do agree with her on the fact that there is no stopping now, especially after it finally gaining momentum.  But the lack of support or sensitivity from the tinsel town has definitely been a hard and bitter pill to swallow. Taapsee further said, “Obstacles will come, but we should not give up. This is a transformative time and therefore it is difficult but if we do not continue, the change will not come in future.”

There is hoping that the future being talked about is not too far away, and until then, let’s hope that Bollywood becomes a little case-sensitive to a dialogue that needs its support now, more than ever.

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