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Nana Patekar Walks Away With A Clean Chit. This Sucks Because We Were Hopeful About The #MeToo Movement

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Fridays are usually my jam. I wake up with a smile across my face, knowing it is the last working day of the week and there will probably be plenty of happy hour deals today that I can exploit. Except this particular Friday wasn’t as merry as the others. Quite the opposite in fact. Allow me to tell you why. Nana Patekar, the first accused in the #MeToo movement by Tanushree Dutta, has been given a clean chit and we can’t wrap our head around it.

The movement that stirred a national outrage, outing several prominent names from all across industries. Bollywood also came under the scanner, as it should have and saw several big names being called out for inappropriate behaviour. We were thrilled that the #MeToo movement was finally moving the needle in an industry racked by sexual predators that hide behind their starry status. But the movement suffered one of its biggest setbacks today, after the Mumbai Police informed a local court that it has no evidence to prosecute Nana Patekar in a molestation case lodged against him. Tanushree Dutta, the headrunner and flag bearer for this movement in India, had accused Nana Patekar of uncivil, inappropriate behaviour and molestation charges on the sets of the movie ‘Horn Ok Pleasss’, 10 years ago.

As the movement gained momentum, so did our hopes as women, that justice may finally transcend upon those who’d been hiding in plain sight for far too long. But we may have been too hopeful too soon, for another culprit walks away with a clean chit. When Dutta was asked to comment on it, she said, “A corrupt police force and legal system giving a clean chit to an even more corrupt person Nana who has been accused even in the past of bullying, intimidation and harassment by several women in the film industry.”

She further continued by saying, “I’m neither shocked nor surprised, being a woman in India this is something we all have got used to. If rape accused Alok Nath got a clean chit and returned to movies, then surely it was not going to be difficult for harassment accused Nana Patekar to get himself, or shall we say buy himself, a clean chit to continue to bully hapless young women.” And we can’t help but resonate with the emotion she says this.

It took months for the movement to get to a point where the accusations were being heard and taken seriously. But verdicts like these, weaken the foundation and faith with which women are fighting this battle. Tanushree Dutta isn’t backing down though, she’s willing to oppose the police report and even move the High Court against it.

The actor also commented about how even after having a 10-year old video in hand, where the intimidation and attack on her and her family in the car can be seen at the sets of Horn Ok Pleass, there was no action that was being taken.

She said, “But the proof is often in the pudding and a gentle reminder to the Indian public to watch the video of my car being mercilessly attacked and broken while I and my family tried to escape from these monsters on ‘Horn ok Pleasss’ set 10 years ago. After this, if you still decide to watch their movies and support then it’s your bad karma. You are corrupt people with no justice, but God’s justice will rain on you someday hopefully and will avenge for all the humiliation, insult, harassment, judgment and trauma I have had to endure in the last 10+ years because of this attitude.”

Not too long ago, even Taapsee Pannu, another beacon of a hope talked about how such results must not deter us  and that we should keep fighting for the cause, and we believe that is exactly what we need to remind ourselves. And although it seems hard to not feel defeated, we need to stand our ground.

And that is exactly the vein in which Tanushree spoke, when she said, “Continue to expose these creeps through social media and other platforms so that in future people would think twice before troubling an innocent young girl. I still believe that I will get justice and victory will be mine!! How..only time will tell,” And we do hope, tell it does.

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