She came back, she conquered and changed the way the Indian film industry operates, hopefully forever. Women who were once too scared to come out and talk against their many oppressors spoke fearlessly and all because there was one who was willing to stand up and fight against the powerful. At the fag end of 2018, Tanushree Dutta’s interview accusing Nana Patekar of sexual misconduct on the sets of Horn OK Please in 2009 started the #MeToo movement in India. A number of Assistant Directors, journalists and other media professionals then came forward accusing people like Vikas Bahl, Sajid Khan, journalist MJ Akbar, Alok Nath, Rajat Kapoor, Anu Malik and Rajkumar Hirani. Dutta is now back in the US, where she only recently spoke at the Howard Business School. Subhash K Jha reached out to her on her future plans.
How was your lecture stint at the Harvard Business School?
It was a unique experience moving amongst the best and brightest from all over the world. I did two panels at the conference and had great feedback from the students and other guest speakers. The first panel had quite a few guests so I put in my inputs. The second panel was good as it was just the two of us journalist Pankaj Pachauri and myself discussing media, movies and internalized misogyny in society and representation of it in popular culture.
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Thankyou Priya Samant Parulekar @priyasp_1234 for facilitating my Harvard Conference speaker invite.Looking forward to many such prestigious collaborations with you in future towards social impact.
You have a film on the MeToo movement coming up?
Yes, I'm looking forward to the release of Inspiration. But it’s not what it’s being made out to be. It’s a short film that is not fiction nor inspired by #MeToo stories contrary to recent reports. It’s actually a motivational and inspirational genre aimed at guiding newcomers to the film and media industry or any other field.
Do you play the anchor in the film?
No. I’m playing myself but it's not specified in the film. It’s a new format. You have to watch it to understand. It's just 20 min so fully packed with my insight. Short, crisp, concise and very direct. It releases on 8th March.
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Just hanging out by the local mall in NJ.Still jetlagged but getting into form rapidly.
You haven’t been seen on screen for the longest time, not counting the innumerable tv interviews you gave recently?
I'm coming back on screen after almost nine years and I didn't just want to entertain but do something that helps or motivates or guides someone out there who is struggling with difficult choices.
You’ve moved away from being a Bollywood actor?
Yes, I'm slowly moving on from being an actor and entertainer to getting into thought leadership and social impact scene. This just felt the natural thing to do. I guess we all grow up eventually. With great blessings come great responsibility. God has been very kind to me. It’s time to express that gratitude.
I am sure there will be many hats for you to wear in the coming months?
Yes, I think so too.I'm doing several events here in US as keynote speaker on a range of topics from women empowerment to spirituality and holistic healing. Basically trying to put it put out there in a gist and sum of all that I’ve learnt and experienced in my journey so far in life.
So would you change the earlier part of your career if you had a choice?
I mean, that was great too for that time and I'm grateful for it but this is something else altogether.