Amruta Subhash: We should have handled MeToo movement with an open mind
Actor Amruta Subhash feels while the MeToo movement started on a very strong note in India, it soon lost its way during the course. She feels openness as well as sensitivity was missing from the whole dialogue in the country.
“In India, different things happened with the movement. It started very strong,” Subhash tells us.
The movement took shape in the West when a wave of sexual harassment accusations swept Hollywood, making people around the world sit up and take notice of sexism embedded deep in the entertainment industry. The conversation trickled down into Bollywood as well, bringing names such as Nana Patekar, Vikas Bahl, Alok Nath, Anu Malik and Sajid Khan, into a scanner for using their position to exploit the vulnerable.
“When it comes to the movement in India, I feel that we could have handled it with more openness, jo zarori hai, and feel we still can handle it that way. You need to look at all the sides, and aspects of the incident,” says Subhash, whose recent web series Bombay Begums puts spotlight on the grey areas that come with the MeToo movement.
Picking up a reference from the show, the 41-year-old shares, “At first, the victim doesn’t want to come out, and when she gathers the courage to share her ordeal, there is one person who doesn’t believe her because she is accusing someone who has been her mentor and friend. But eventually, she realises her fault, and changes her stance to stand with the victim.”
She adds, “Changing your stance should be easy. Having an open mind while looking at things is very necessary”.
After the release of the web series, the actor reveals she got a personal message from a woman, who herself was struggling to speak up against her boss, who was exploiting her. “It (reminded me that it) is never easy to talk about such things because one is already feeling so vulnerable,” she says.
But that doesn’t mean that one has to be lopsided, when it comes to making a judgement about someone, because “ladki bhi sahi ho sakti hai, aur kabhi kabhi ladka bhi sahi ho sakta hai”.
For the Gully Boy actor, it is important to embrace the trait of agreeing to disagree.
“Aapko ek cheez lag rahi hai aur mujhe alag cheez lag rahi hai (accepting that is important). The freedom of expression, and freedom to state a contradictory point is important when we are trying to have a dialogue. That is very powerful,” admits Subhash, who has been garnering plaudits in recent times for her varied roles in the OTT space with projects such as Choked, Sacred Games and Selection Day.
Ask her if the movement took some form of witch-hunting in India, instead of normalising the conversation, she agrees with the point.
“We need to treat each case as an individual case. We need to look at it from all points of view. We can’t just say ke yeh hi sahi hai aur yeh hi galat hai. We need to understand that we are dealing with issues where there are many vulnerabilities involved, and we need to deal with these vulnerabilities with care. We need to be sensitive,” says the actor while concluding.