After showing his support for actor Nana Patekar, BJP MLA Dr Udit Raj claimed that the #MeToo campaign in India is the beginning of a wrong practice. Actor Nana Patekar has been accused of sexually assaulting his co-actor, Tanushree Dutta, 10 years ago on the sets of a film titled Horn Ok Pleasss. Dr Udit Raj had tweeted: “After so many years, how will the truth of such a matter be investigated?” (Translated)
Udit’s tweet comes at a time when the #MeToo campaign, which had kicked up a storm last year in Hollywood, has finally reached Indian shores. Several women across the film industry and the media industry have been speaking up against sexual harassment in the workplace.
What the so-called MLA failed to understand is that it is a traumatic experience for a person who is a survivor of sexual assault. For them to open up becomes difficult in a society which terms women ‘sluts’, ‘whores’, ‘attention seekers’ and other derogatory terms. The #MeToo campaign began so that women across the planet could unify and share their horror stories. It also helped many survivors find justice. Case in point, Harvey Weinstein.
It was noted that the campaign did not have a big impact in India, but now that it finally began, we are seeing a number of incidents brought to light. Many of them were overlooked or ignored. True, the story emerged late, but at least people are being warned about the pervs that lurk in the society and prey on people. A crime is a crime, no matter when it was committed. Period.
To give him a perspective, take a look at the people who were recently accused: Filmmaker Vikas Bahl, actor Rajat Kapoor, AIB’s Gursimran Khamba and even "sanskaari" actor Alok Nath.
Udit’s tweet faced severe online backlash, following which he posted a statement. He said that he’s not against #MeToo, but questioned if all sexual assault claims are legit. He also went on to add that people should not misuse #MeToo. He highlighted Jitendra’s sexual assault case that saw him booked after 47 years. He wondered how someone ‘remembered’ being assaulted after such a long time.