In the rise of MeToo movement in India, many prominent people from the industry, as well as journalists, comedians and people from other fields, have been exposed. Many women not only from Bollywood but from the other industries as well, have come forward and narrated their traumatising stories of assault. It all started with Tanushree Dutta’s allegations against Nana Patekar. Celebrities such as Vikas Bahl, Zulfi Syed, Rajat Kapoor, Kailash Kher, Chetan Bhagat, Rajat Kapoor, Ronit Roy and others have been accused so far of sexual assault. In the past few days several celebrities have come out in support of all those who have shared their stories. Now, actor Raveena Tandon talks about the movement and said that even though she has not been a victim of sexual harassment, the countless stories of ill-treatment of women anger her.
Raveena, 43, confessed that she has been through “professional harassment” in the film industry and that is why she understands the trauma. “I was never sexually harassed as I was not the one to just take it. I would give it back. But I can imagine the trauma that the young girls go through. It is so sad and disheartening to hear these stories. It angers me,” Raveena told news agency PTI.
“I have been through professional harassment. I did lose out on couple of films. There were few women journalists, who would tarnish our reputation in their magazines or newspapers. Like, from being called a liar to delusional liar, etc. They helped the heroes,” Raveena added. She even talked about her harassment phase and said that it was very disturbing.
In a recent Tweet, Raveena wrote, “What defines harassment in a workplace? The fact that many industry wives and girlfriends are silent observers or instigators, when actor husbands destroy the careers of actresses after the chase and flirtation is over or have them replaced with other potential targets.” When asked about the same, Raveena said, “Sometimes it is women also who are complacent because of insecurity or professional jealousy and have got other actresses removed from a project using their hero boyfriend or husband. And this is not fair. It might not be sexual harassment but it is professional harassment. The clauses in the contracts need to be strong. If certain people have problem working with the actress then they should step away. Why ruin the girl’s career?”.
Raveena advises women to take legal action, instead of approaching film bodies and associations. “I believe innocent until proven guilty. After the investigations are carried out, if the person is found guilty, then there also has to be legal action against them”.