Coming out in support of Bollywood singer Sona Mohapatra after she slammed singer-composer Anu Malik, Nai Jaana fame singer Neha Bhasin too accused him of being a sexual predator. Sona had called out a Sony TV channel for allowing back Anu as a co-judge of the singing reality show, Indian Idol.
Her tweet read, “It takes only a Nirbhaya level tragedy for #India to wake up? Few days after these,I was asked to leave my judge seat. My co-judge told me,the publicity I provided to Anu Malik took up the trps of our ‘rival’ show. (?!) A year later,a sexual predator is back on the same seat.” Retweeting it, Neha spilled out her own experience bravely. She wrote, “I agee with you. We do live in a very sexist world. Anu Malik is a predetor, i too have run away from his strange moves when i was 21. I didn’t let myself get into a sticky situation beyond him lying on a sofa in front of me talking about my eyes in a studio. I fleed lying my mums waiting below. He even msgd and called me after that to which i stopped responding. The point is i went to give him my cd and hope for a chance at a song. He was older and shouldnt have behaved the way he did. @The_AnuMalik is an ugly pervert (sic).”
The thread sparked up a controversy on Twitter against the trolls, all of whom were hit back by Sona and Neha. Sonam tweeted, “I have known the spunky,driven & talented @nehabhasin4u since her Viva days & know she would’ve dealt with the trauma bravely w/o succumbing.I also know 2 many who were victimised! Youngsters & parents on a reality show are desperate to win & Anu Malik has been judge for 11yrs? (sic)”.
To this, Neha replied, “Even though i have a brave DNA Sona 🙂 as you have known me the industry or the world was not an easy place as a young girl alone away from family due to many such Incidents or getting a hunch of such perverts. Perverts exist inside n outside our industry but why are we so forgiving to the men, do we realise that is what gives them the strength to ruin our dignity, hide us women in our houses. I hid many times so as to not get myself in a sticky situation. Why is it ok? For a man who is predetor to walk free while we hide in shame n fear? Last thing i wanna say is 19 to age 30 many older men tried to make their cheap advances oh ne rest assured i complained to the people i thought would bring justice. The Tv world says a womans role is of Ma, bhabhi aur behen oh yes i was told that too. So what is A man’s role? (sic).”
Acknowledging the support that she received from Neha, Sona tweeted, “Dear India,media @SonyPictures , @nehabhasin4u was all of 21, @ShwetaPandit7 was 15 when he tried kissing her,his family doctors daughter was 14 when he unzipped, countless other women shared their @IndiaMeToo stories about Anu Malik,including Danice D’Souza, #IndianIdol Producer (sic).”
Sona Mohapatra had even called out singer Sonu Nigam for supporting Abu. In one of her viral tweets, Sona mentioned, “Sonu Nigam championed the cause of Anu Malik publicly & his right to be earning millions on national TV while saying he’s his mothers son etc to justify his understanding of India MeToo. Had called Ram Sampath to ‘keep me in check’ while calling me a ‘terrorist’. Must be happy now (sic).”
Singer and musician Anu Malik, who was accused of sexual harassment by many women during #MeToo movement last year, has come back to co-judge Indian Idol’s new season after the makers decided to retain the judges from the last season – Neha Kakkar, Vishal Dadlani and Anu Malik. The news comes a year after the same channel and same makers ousted the musician from the show following the harassment allegations and singer Javed Ali was made to replace him as one of the judges.
Several women came out to accuse Anu Malik of sexual misconduct during #MeToo. He was first accused by Shweta who claimed that Malik asked her to kiss him when she was 15-years-old. Another woman who worked with Malik on the sets of Indian Idol revealed that he used to harass women on the sets as well and many seniors were also aware of the same. Another survivor said that he asked her to wear a chiffon saree in their next meeting after hugging her forcefully. One woman said that Malik dropped his pants and lifted her skirt during a meeting at his residence. He was replaced by the channel when these allegations surfaced earlier.
A report in Mid-Day quoted a source revealing that the makers are especially fond of Anu’s poetry and therefore, the decision of retaining him was made. “The makers and channel decided to reinstate Anu Malik as one of the judges as he, with his shair-o-shayari, is synonymous with Indian Idol. He has judged every season since the reality show began airing in 2004,” quoted the source.