Tanushree Dutta on #MeToo effect: We've scraped tip of iceberg, expect an avalanche
Torchbearer of #MeToo in Indian media, Tanushree Dutta speaks up on rising number of new allegations
It has been exactly a fortnight since Tanushree Dutta sent shockwaves in the industry when she accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the set of Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008. In the two weeks that followed, Bollywood witnessed a revolution of sorts as more and more women broke their silence to name and shame their alleged sexual predators.
On her part, Dutta says the title of the torchbearer of the #MeToo movement sits heavy on her shoulders as she simply wanted her voice to be heard. "People may be referring to me as the torchbearer of the #MeToo movement in India, but I just said what needed to be said. I related what I had gone through. I had to put the record straight. It was important to clear a lot of misconceptions people had about me," says Dutta.
It won't be wrong to say that her revelation opened the floodgates in Bollywood and gave her peers the gumption to come forward. Point out how the allegations of sexual harassment are mounting by the minute and she says, "This is just the tip of the iceberg, expect an avalanche. I am happy that the girl [in the Vikas Bahl case] is being heard. People were asking me why I need the industry's support. This was the reason — so that even stories of the lesser known people can be heard and action taken. Support emboldens you and makes you come forward. It ensures your voice will not get stifled."
Dutta, however, adds that it is up to women to keep the momentum of the movement going and see it to its rightful end. "I am happy with the disciplinary action that has been taken against the sexual predators by way of dropping them from projects. There has to be a fear that you cannot get away with it. The old paradigm no longer works. People are waking up, you cannot shame someone into silence. There should not be shame associated with the victims but with the perpetrators. All of it will change and I am just doing my part."
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