The irony Bollywood is experiencing lies loud and evident in front of us. While films with women in strong and powerful portrayals are gaining success at the box office, a slew of women in the industry are coming up with accounts of facing sexual harassment in the industry.
Bollywood celebrities have spoken up in many different ways at various platforms. They have expressed their views on the #MeToo movement. Keeping this conversation alive is key to support the victims to speak up and support their fight.
Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan said that fraternity members should make sure the place is safe for women to work. He said, "Some ridiculous and inhuman things have happened in the past few years and I know that new talents might fear to step into the industry after knowing those stories of victims.”
“But as member of the fraternity, we have to make sure that women are treated with the utmost dignity and there is no abuse of power," Saif Ali Khan added.
Actress-filmmaker Nandita Das, whose father - artist Jatin Das - has been accused of sexually harassing a woman, said that while she will continue to add voice to the #MeToo movement, she believes the truth will prevail in the "disturbing allegations" against the Padma Bhushan recipient.
"As a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement, I want to reiterate that I will continue to add my voice to it, despite the disturbing allegations made against my father, which he has categorically denied," Nandita posted on Facebook.
The #MeToo movement in India has been on a rise with victims of sexual harassment from all walks of life voicing their stories. Nandita has been vocal about urging women to speak up against any such unsavoury experiences that they have faced at their workplace.
"I have maintained from the very start that this is the time we all need to listen, so that women (and men) feel safe to speak up. At the same time, it is also important to be sure about allegations so as not to dilute the movement. I am touched by the number of people - friends and strangers - who are concerned and are trusting my integrity. I do believe truth will prevail. And that is all I have to say on this matter," she added.
The 64-year-old actress Neena Gupta’s characters on-screen challenged social norms but in real life Neena Gupta said that men became a priority and her focus shifted from career to finding the right partner. She believes that the #MeToo movement in India will change the status quo.
"#MeToo has shaken the whole industry. But the sad part is that it is so hard to prove such incidents. I have been on my own for the longest time and have faced a lot of such incidents during my days in college, National School of Drama. I don't know how we can get a proof of a person groping us or touching us inappropriately. All we could do at that time was get used to it or try our best to avoid it," she said.
Gupta hopes that the movement will probably create some fear in people who abuse their power.
Recently, celebrities like Neha Duphia, Akshay Kumar and producer, director Mahesh Bhatt also contributed to the empowerment of voices foreshadowed by power and toxicity in the film industry and other fields.