#MeToo: Neha Bhasin calls Anu Malik 'pervert', Sona slams Sony
Around this time last year, social media was abuzz with #MeToo stories. Indian women, who had been humiliated, abused, or made uncomfortable by men in power spoke about the trauma. Months later, some of the accused have "re-started" their lives. One such celebrity is Anu Malik and the "honor" bestowed on him miffed singer Sona Mohapatra, who raised important questions. Here's what went down.
For those who have forgotten, Anu was among the mightiest Bollywood celebrities named and shamed during India's #MeToo reckoning. Shweta Pandit said he made sexual advances towards her. Another anonymous woman claimed he unzipped in front of her, while another one said he hugged her and ran his hands all over the body. The serious allegations notwithstanding, Anu was "welcomed" back to Indian Idol.
The fact that Anu is judging contestants (again) on the hugely popular singing reality show confirms that #MeToo allegations had no effect on the ground. Furious at how his life remained unchanged, Sona wrote a snarky Facebook post asking Sony TV why was he reinstated to the job. She also mentioned the latest allegations that singer Neha Bhasin leveled on Anu.
The Swag Se Swagat hitmaker revealed on Twitter that when she was merely 21 years old, Anu made inappropriate advances towards her. She had gone to meet him to submit a CD, hoping for a break. But Anu, as Neha said, spoke about her eyes instead. Lying that her mother was waiting, Neha fled and never replied to Anu's regular messages.
I fleed lying my mums waiting below. He even msgd and called me after that to which i stopped responding. The point is i went to give him my cd and hope for a chance at a song. He was older and shouldnt have behaved the way he did. @The_AnuMalik is an ugly pervert and does not https://t.co/tQgStLrYyT— Neha Bhasin (@nehabhasin4u) October 30, 2019
Starting her post with Neha's ordeal, Sona reminded the former was just 21 when Anu harassed her and Shweta was all about 19 years old. She mentioned that a producer on Indian Idol also complained about Anu, but he kept judging the show nevertheless. "It takes only a Nirbhaya level tragedy for India to wake up?" she asked on Facebook.
"Sonu Nigam championed the cause of Anu Malik publicly, in media & his right to be earning millions while saying he's his 'mother's son', 'has sisters he cares for' etc to justify his understanding of IndiaMeToo. He called Ram Sampath to 'keep me in check', (sic)" she wrote.
Sona went on to slam Vishal Dadlani too, for sitting next to Anu and talking about the nation's problems on social media. "Vishal, the dignity & safety of women should mean more to you than a few extra million in the bank?? Walk your talk in your own area of existence & influence first? (sic)" she advised the music composer.
Not giving much attention to Neha Kakkar, another judge on the show, and host Aditya Narayan, Sona said that they never had a spine, so they can continue crying. Berating the channel, Sona wrote Sony TV tried to divert attention from Anu's "induction" by making cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar tweet nice things about the show. Not bowing down, Sona said change will come soon.