Ex-wife accuses Sairat director of beating, financial exploitation

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 08, 2016 08:27 IST
Manjule and Sunita got divorced in 2014. 

Here’s a thought for those who have already formed an opinion on Marathi filmmaker Nagraj Manjule’s commitment to women empowerment from the recently released Sairat – Real life can be very different from reel.

A Quint report quotes Manjule’s ex-wife Sunita as saying that she was tortured by the filmmaker and his family on many occasions. Today, Sunita is reportedly reduced to working as a domestic help to make ends meet.

Read: Only movie villains have names like mine: Sairat director Nagraj Manjule

Read: Sairat, film on honour killings, irks Maratha outfits

Recalling her days in Manjule’s household, she alleged: “The dreams Nagraj showed me crashed as soon as his filmmaking career started blooming. His short film – Pistulya – was highly praised by everyone, and our joy knew no bounds when it was chosen for the National Awards. He was about to receive an award from the President of India! I was over the moon!”

However, that was when she received a “rude shock”.

The Quint also published this picture from Manjule’s wedding

“I realised that I was not a part of my husband’s plans. Not only that, his entire family went to Delhi. Not only did they go without me, they locked me inside the house. I didn’t know what to do. I was at a loss for words.”

Sunita said she regretted not having a child despite being in wedlock for 15 years. “Looking at other married women, I always longed to taste motherhood and have a child of my own. But that wasn’t possible in our marriage. Every time I asked him if we could have a child, he would tell me that he couldn’t afford to get bogged down by familial ties when he had filmy dreams to chase.”

Watch: Trailer of Nagraj Manjule’s Sairat

Manjule was also accused of forcing Sunita to undergo abortions on multiple occasions. “Whenever I begged him to let me keep the child, he thrashed me with his bare hands, leather belts and – at times – a log of wood.”

Sunita alleged that Manjule’s family cheated her. “I was made to sign papers that I could barely understand, and a demand draft of Rs 7 lakh was given as a settlement sum. Out of this, our lawyer took Rs 1 lakh over and above his payments. Later, I came to know that I would have no right to his property, alimony or life. This was all I could get, I was told,” she said.

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