Long awaited flood gates of sexual harassment confessions have been opened at last in India.Thanks to Tanushree Dutta who kind of started this movement by repeating her accusations on actor Nana Patekar who allegedly harassed her in 2007 during a film shoot. After her accusations garnered widespread attention, several other celebrities too came forward with their stories. People who were admired for their good image off screen, people who were already suspected to have committed such crimes and people who promoted the MeToo movement were all named in MeToo movement. We also saw several people derailing the movement by using it for their political mileage. But one thing that really shook me is the kind of hypocrisy shown by people from film industry and the media. The kind of selective outrage shown for few cherry picked cases made it quite clear that the movement more than just a fight against the crime. Here are the four particular cases which unleashed the activist mask of lot of influential people including the close ones of accused.
Varun Grover :
Stand up comedian cum lyricist Varun Grover was accused by an anonymous women of harassment during college days,he was quick to deny the allegations and to release a statement telling his side of the story and few clarifications. But a strange thing happened soon after it,people who were front runners of MeToo movement and several people from media started a twitter hashtag named I Believe You Varun Grover which was quite surprising considering the fact the same people were quick enough to abuse the accusers who were named before that. Arm chair activist cum actress Swara Bhaskar , who always lent her support for the accusers till then, asked people to be cautious about false allegations. Varun Grover may be innocent or may be a sexual predator. That’s a different thing which will be decided if the case gets into court. But the lack of concern for the accuser kind of showed the true colors of these people.
Aditi Mittal Case :
Stand Up comedian Aditi Mittal, who was one of the biggest supporter of MeToo movement got herself into trouble when fellow comedian Kaneez Surka accused her of sexual harassment during a comedy show. This too was a shocker considering the fact the former was the first one to name and shame all those who were accused before.As expected, there was a staunch silence on this accusation and few even tried to sideline the issue by ridiculing the accuser itself.
Vinod Dua :
Veteran Journalist Vinod Dua who was admired for his ideology and independent viewpoints too faced heat of MeToo when he was accused by Independent filmmaker Nishta Jain of sexual harassment. His daughter Mallika Dua, who was a strong supporter of MeToo took a lighter stand on this matter and said that he will stand by her father on this matter.This stance of her took everyone by surprise considering her previous outbursts on similar cases. Same ignorance was seen by a section of media and celebrities in this case as well.
Jatin Das :
One of the most admired filmmaker cum actress of Indian cinema, Nandita Das worried about false accusations diluting the seriousness of the movement during her statement regarding the allegations by multiple women of sexual harassment. But the actress along with several other fellow film makers had a strong and contrasting stance on other cases.
While the pain and embarrassment faced by people like Nandita Das and Mallika Dua when their close ones are a part of this hall of shame, their changing views from one case to another clearly makes their integrity questionable.
While MeToo has successfully broken the glass ceiling, it is important to distinguish the cases based on the type and seriousness of the accusations.Celebrities and social media influences also need to understand that promoting an unverified or false accusation could break someone’s life within no time.