Actor Sharman Joshi has tweeted in support of filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani after he got accused of sexually harassing a female employee while shooting Sanju. The actor, who worked with Hirani in 3 Idiots (2009), said that the filmmaker is a man of immense integrity, character, and honour. He added that it’s a difficult time for the filmmaker and he’s sure everything will be fine soon.
Sharman tweeted, “Raju Sir is a man of immense integrity, character, honour, compassion and truthfulness, all the virtues one would imagine are non-existent in people today, someone I am absolutely inspired by and have learnt from and because of whom I believe I have gone onto being a better person. All I want to say, Sir is that this too shall pass. I can imagine how demeaning it might be to even stand up for yourself in a situation such as this” (sic). He made the statement using ‘I Stand For Raju Hirani’ hashtag on Twitter.
The entire issue has left Twitter divided. While most people are in shock over allegations against Hirani, some others are wishing for him to come out clean. Sharman Joshi is the first Bollywood celebrity to have taken an open stand in the matter. Earlier, actor Dia Mirza mentioned that it won’t be right on her part to talk about the issue without knowing the details.
Dia talked to Pinkvilla and said, “I am deeply distressed by this news. As someone who has known and respects Raju Sir for 15 years, I can only hope that a due official inquiry is conducted. He is one of the most decent human beings I have ever worked with and I think it would be grossly unjust on my part to speak on this as I do not know the details”.
Woman’s statement against Rajkumar Hirani (Photo Courtesy: Getty Images/ India.com)
A report published on Huff Post on January 13, 2019, claimed that a woman accused Rajkumar Hirani of sexually harassing her more than once over a period of six months on the sets of Sanju. The filmmaker denied all the allegations and released a statement saying he was in shock to hear about the allegations that were brought to his notice a few months back.
In his statements to Bombay Times, published on Twitter, he said, “I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months back”. He also questioned the woman’s decision of reaching out to the media to express her story. He added, “I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or any legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false, malicious and mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation”.
Rajkumar Hirani’s statement on sexual harassment allegations (Photo Courtesy: Getty Images)
Here’s what the complainant said in her statement to the website: “I had no choice but to be polite to him. It was unbearable but the reason I endured it all until I couldn’t, was because I didn’t want my job to be taken away from me, and work to be questioned. Ever I was worried that if I left midway, it would be impossible to find another job in this industry if he were to speak badly about my work”.
The filmmaker’s close friend and partner Vidhu Vinod Chopra has refused to comment on the issue. However, his wife and popular journalist Anupama Chopra said, “I’ve met the complainant twice. Both times, I have offered my full support and recommended that she take the complaint to a legal body or a neutral party since we cannot be arbitrators or judges on this. We also offered to set up an ICC at VCF (which we have set up since then) even though a VCF ICC could not have taken up the case since she was an RHF (Rajkumar Hirani Films) employee at the time. These are two separate companies”.