She made critics and Bollywood fans turn heads and notice her as the lead actor for a quintessential masala film that also promoted the importance of women’s consent with Anaarkali of Aarah. Further raising her stake as a feminist who wants the society to debate and talk about challenges that women face, Swara Bhaskar has now revealed that she was molested during the promotions of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo.
Sadly for Swara, she faced it despite being a household name (with her popularity post Raanjhana and Tanu Weds Manu).
Swara played step-sister to Salman Khan in Sooraj Barjatya’s 2015 hit film that also starred Sonam Kapoor and Anupam Kher.
“I have been groped during Prem Ratan Dhan Payo when we landed at Rajkot. I was travelling with Salman Sir and nobody realised, but there were around 2,000 people at the airport to see him. Despite the fact there was security, people got in and it was Anupam Kher who made sure I got into the car. It was crazy. As a female artiste, you know the feeling of being vulnerable in front of a crowd, which is why I connected with my character Anaarkali. You know that when we were shooting the Holi scene in Ranjhanaa, the production has put five boys from the AD team around us in that get-up, to protect us from the rest of the crowd,” she told the Times of India in an interview.
She also revealed an earlier incident where a drunk man masturbated in front of her in a Mumbai local train. “ I have beaten someone with my umbrella in Mumbai. I was in a train alone — this was my first year in Mumbai — going somewhere to collect a cheque. I was in the first-class compartment and it was in the late afternoon so it was empty. A drug addict got in and when I turned around, I see this man masturbating. For one second, I was scared. It took me a second to realise what was going on, I started yelling at him, and beating him with the umbrella. I tried to catch hold of his collar because I knew the moment the train stops, he will run. I knew I can get him to the police if I hold him back. But the moment the train slowed down, he realised I was holding him to get him to the police, and he jumped off from the other end of the compartment ,” she told the English daily.
Earlier, Bipasha Basu was groped in a nightclub in 2003. She did not file any complaint and the culprit was never identified. Esha Deol had to slap a man during the promotions of Dus (2005) after he tried molesting her.
Katrina Kaif was molested by a mob in Kolkata in October 2005. After the event was over, while Katrina was on the way to her car, the crowd overpowered the security personnel and started grabbing and touching her.
In October 2009, Sushmita Sen was mobbed by a crowd of anxious fans while inaugurating a jewellery store in Pune.Crazy fans almost pushed her onto her car and she narrowly missed a bad fall.
Dabangg actress Sonakshi Sinha was also harassed by a group of boys, who not only passed comments on the actress but also touched her on her shoulder and arms.The incident took place in Gandhi Garden near Mantralaya in South Mumbai, where three NGOs from the city paid tribute to those who lost their lives during the 26/11 carnage two years ago.
In 2010, during a half marathon in the capital, Gul Panag was groped by the men standing at the starting point. They touched the actress and later ran away taking advantage of the crowd. The actress didn’t file a complaint as she could not recognise the men.
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