Kajol says sexual harassment is ‘definitely a reality’ as support pours in for Tanushree Dutta
Bollywood actor Kajol accepted that sexual harassment is “definitely the reality” while saying that she is not fully acquainted with the details of allegations levelled by Tanushree Dutta against Nana Patekar. Kajol also added that harassment was not limited to only the film industry and men are as vulnerable to harassment as women.
The actor was speaking to NDTV during promotions of her upcoming film, Helicopter Eela. While saying that she has never had a personal experience like the one described by Tanushree or witnessed something of this sort, she has heard of such experiences but in “the rumour form”.
“I’ve never seen it but I have heard about it and it’s always in rumour form. You never know it, no one is going to come up to you and say ‘Hey, I did this!’ I don’t know how much of it is actually the truth or not,” Kajol said, adding, “If it had happened in front of me, I’m sure I would have stood up or done something about it. Never happened to me. I don’t think it would have happened in front of me.”
She added that such harrowing experiences are not limited to the film industry. “What she speaks about is definitely the reality and I wouldn’t say it’s restricted to our industry. I think it’s pretty much a concern all over, which ever field we talk about,” Kajol said.
Kajol accepted that there was a need for #MeToo movement in India. “The whole point of the #MeToo movement is so that you can stand up for yourself even if not on a public platform. You need to stand up for yourself. You see people stand up for themselves and you stand up for yourself wherever you are,” she said.
Support for Tanushree – who has accused Nana Patekar of physical and sexual misconduct on the sets of their 2008 film Horn Ok Pleasss – came from actors like Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi. Speaking to the media, Parineeti hoped that the Tanushree Dutta incident would set a precedent. “If there are other women in the industry who have been through the same thing, I want every woman to come out there and speak because if they don’t speak now, they will forever be suppressed,” she said, while adding that she has never had a similar experience, she would have never kept quiet if something like that had happened to her.
Her Namaste England co-star Arjun Kapoor said that if what Tanushree has said is true, she will win. “Today a girl has shown courage to show the truth and if it is true, she will definitely win. This girl has come out and spoken about something that is so dreaded that you would think a million times in this country before coming out and speaking about it. She deserves to be heard, before being judgmental, before pointing fingers and before making it a debate,” he added.
Actor Vivek Oberoi also said that it’s the responsibility of a society to treat women equally, respectfully and to make them feel secure in a working environment.
Several bollywood celebrities like Kangana Ranaut, Farhan Akthar, Hansal Mehta, Priyanka Chopra, Varun Dhawan and Sonam Kapoor have supported Tanushree for speaking out and creating a #MeToo movement in Bollywood.
“Whether it’s Bollywood or Hollywood or journalism, it is our responsibility not only as men but also as a society to make women feel secure in working environment. People often exploit others because they are seniors or successful in a field. It’s a positive sign that #MeToo movement has cleaned the system in Hollywood,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)