Rape-accused Alok Nath's comeback is proof of Bollywood's hypocrisy
After Tanushree Dutta's allegations of sexual harassment resurfaced in September last year, several #MeToo accounts erupted in Bollywood. The #MeToo storm got the much-needed conversation moving. However, months later, the hashtags stopped trending, and not much has changed since. Otherwise how would one explain rape-accused Alok Nath making a comeback in Luv Ranjan's next, De De Pyaar De, despite all of Bollywood's performative wokeness.
Movie was completed prior to the allegations against him: Ajay
Earlier this month, Nath was seen in the trailer of Ranjan's upcoming film, which also stars Ajay Devgn, Rakul Preet Singh, Tabu, Javed Jaffrey, and Jimmy Shergill. About Nath's casting, Devgn said, "This is not the right place to talk about it. And the movie was completed prior to the allegations against him." The film is set to release on May 17.
Dutta blasts Devgn, says 'Bollywood heroes are truly zeroes'
After Nath's role in De De Pyaar De became public knowledge, people condemned the decision to include him in the film. Most of the ire was directed at Devgn, who had earlier vowed to stand by #MeToo, and never work with those accused. Dutta too joined in and blasted Devgn, saying, "Doesn't this prove yet again that your big Bollywood heroes are truly zeroes!"
Devgn had earlier vowed to never work with those accused
I’m disturbed by all the happenings with regards to #MeToo. My company and I believe in providing women with utmost respect and safety. If anyone has wronged even a single woman, neither ADF nor I will stand for it.— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) October 12, 2018
Nath's casting a show of solidarity with all rapists: Dutta
Dutta pointed out that Nath's portion could have been reshot. "They had to keep the alleged rapist in their film and rub it on not only Vinta's but on all our faces as a show of solidarity with all rapists, molesters, and harassers of Bollywood."
Backstory: Nanda accused Nath of raping her 19 years ago
Back in October, writer-director Vinta Nanda had accused Nath of raping her 19 years ago. Later, actors Himani Shivpuri, Sandhya Mridul, Deepika Amin, and an anonymous crew member on a film set had accused Nath of harassing them. After he filed a defamation suit against Nanda, the latter lodged an FIR. In January, he was granted anticipatory bail by the Mumbai sessions court.
Please note this: Perfunctory protests get us nowhere
The glorious conundrum here is how could you maintain your ties with powerful predators while also pretending to be among the uproarious commotion against their kind. The answer: you don't. Every voice not raised, every action not taken against injustice is our collective loss. Silence is complicity. Using easy words to feign protest might get you retweets today, but they won't last you long.
'Why I didn't report'
What people in position of power might not realize is that every time you look past the misdeeds of a predator, you award them with fearlessness. This compels victims to stay quiet, muffled by shame, doubt, and fear, only to be asked someday: "Why didn't you report earlier?". The very reason why a court ruled in favor of Nath and not his accuser.