#Metoo movement in India

Most of us are aware of the #Metoo movement in Hollywood and the reactions, reformations and repercussions of it. However what most of us didn’t see, was its approach to the Indian film Industry. When actress Tanushree Dutta opened up about her 10 year old harassment tale, flood gates of pent up emotions opened in Bollywood.

Many women and few men came up calling out names and pin pointing their perpetrators, and hence flag bearing the #Metoo movement of Bollywood. Every day some new harrowing tale of abuse, casting couch, mental harassment and even rape is coming out in the open and leaving us hurt, angered and agitated.

Undoubtedly the Hindi film industry is the most talked about industry of the country. They are literally all over the place. Every minute details of Bollywood parties, controversies and linkups appear on all possible media routes. So a movement like #Metoo has quite obviously become the talk of the town. Behind the glittering silhouette of the stars are many untold stories of talented actors, not finding a place in the filmy universe, just because they weren’t ready to compromise.

Besides all the money making going on, we cannot deny that at the end of the day, it’s an art industry. And denying talents into it, will gradually weaken it and eventually it may crumble like a pack of cards.

Now why I chose to write about #Metoo? And what is the agenda of the post?

Well, I was reading and listening to the stories for quite some time, but when a friend Debonita, joined the movement and shared her story, it triggered me (her interview video is attached at the end of the narrative). Besides as a writer, influencer I feel it’s a moral responsible to spread the word and create awareness.

#Metoo is applicable to the society as a whole:

Although we may talk about tinsel town, but tales of abuse, power play happens in every field. A boss using his/her power to unethically load a subordinate and hamper life and cause trauma, is abuse. But here we will concentrate on sexual abuse, which is beyond traumatising and has permanent mental setbacks.

Sexual abuse happens on a continuous basis in every work of life. Whether that inappropriate touching in a crowded bus, or forcing a subordinate to take a lift, it’s omnipresent and if the doers are not penalised enough, this will only multiply the amplitude of silent sobbing.

So whether it’s the film industry or any other industry, we must stand in solidarity to wronged men and women and help create an impact.

It must be understood that this is not a sexist movement

In a situation, where feminism is an abused word, any movement must clarify its stance transparently to be impactful. However that doesn’t mean that I refrain from calling myself a feminist and a believer in equality in real terms

Anyways, #Metoo has also seen male models reporting exploitation. Hence we can safely say that it is not a battle of the sexes as projected by many. Having said that, the number of cases raised by men are insignificant compared to women and the reasons can be:

A, actually women are exploited more,

B, reporting abuse is not a macho thing for a man and he might spoil his image.

Role of media

Most bloggers like me have limited visibility, but media, especially visual media can play a significant role, which they are playing but more cautious steps are required. For a social reform to happen, we as a society will have to think beyond individual benefits and do our bit with due diligence. I write on social issues as a responsible woman, who has an opinion, I am not paid for it. And the same is true for numerous bloggers I know.

So although media is helping propagate the movement, they should also deny space to elements spreading negativity, stooping to incredible lows just for publicity. These kind of people are diluting the cause.

Also, since the time is vulnerable, there are also chances of false accusations. Media should be careful in choosing the stories they want to showcase and proper research should go into it.

A movement like #Metoo is not just about the film industry, it’s about the society at large and aims at creating a general environment of openness and respect. I condemn the perpetrators and expect action against them. We all have the right to lead our lives with dignity.

Let’s spread the word more and more, the violators should be aware that their times are up!

Kudos to the film industry for the prompt actions.


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