Anurag Kashyap being accused of sexual harassment by actor Payal Ghosh has put ‘feminists’ in quite a tough spot, as they now flounder around for defending the alleged assaulter instead of siding with the victim who has finally stocked up the courage to come out in the open about her experience with the man who is generally seen for his “non-conformist” cinematic style, and whose films are slang-fests of the highest order, where women are verbally berated in every scene. Leaving the brazen dichotomy aside, the ganging up of self-proclaimed feminists, who have taken to shameful levels of victim-shaming is a testimony to Mumbai’s film industry being comprised of self-serving people.
Payal Ghosh, revealing her ordeal, had said, “I went to meet him and the next day when he took me to the other room, he opened his zip and tried to force his c**k (penis) inside my vagina by opening my Salwar Kameez. He said it was okay and all the actresses who worked with him such as Huma Qureshi, Richa Chadha, Mahi Gill, they are just a call away.” “I request the authorities to kindly take action and let the country see the demon behind this creative guy. I am aware that it can harm me and my security is at risk. I am seeking action against him,” she added.
Subsequent to Payal Ghosh mounting these accusations upon Anurag Kashyap, Bollywood’s liberal and feminist lobby took to covering-up on behalf of the alleged assaulter, with many writing heartfelt posts about how it was impossible for the man to be a demented monster. The antics of the likes of Taapsee Pannu, Swati Chaturvedi and others have been reported earlier by TFI, as the cabal took to hinting at political vendetta as a probable reason why the mantle carrier of feminism in Bollywood was being dubbed a sexual assaulter.
Now, the ex-wives of Anurag Kashyap have taken to defending him. Kalki Koechlin, who was Kashyap’s wife between 2011 and 2015, wrote, “Dear Anurag, don’t let this social media circus get to you. You have fought for the freedom of women in your own scripts, you’ve defended their integrity in your professional space as well as your personal life. I have been a witness to it. In the personal and professional space, you have always seen me as your equal, you have stood up for my integrity even after our divorce, and you have supported me when I felt unsafe in a work environment even before we got together.”
ट्रोल्स tho ट्रॉल करेंगें pic.twitter.com/tMl7GlRU6o
— Kalki केकला (@kalkikanmani) September 21, 2020
Aarti Bajaj, who was Anurag’s wife from 2003 to 2009 also came out in peculiar support of the man. “First wife here… You are a Rockstar, Anurag Kashyap. Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter.” She added, “There is no integrity left and the world is full of losers and no brains baying for blood of anyone who has a voice. If everybody spends the energy which they use in hating others constructively this world will be a better place. Cheapest stunt I have seen till now. First it made me angry then I laughed so hard as it cannot come more framed then this. I am sorry that you have to go through this. That’s the level of them. You stay high and keep using your voice. We love you.”
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First wife here✋🏻.. You are a rockstar @anuragkashyap10. Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter. There is no integrity left and the world is full of losers and no brains baying for blood of anyone who has a voice. If everybody spends the energy which they use in hating others constructively this world will be a better place. Cheapest stunt I have seen till now. First it made me angry then I laughed so hard as it cannot come more framed then this . I am sorry that you have to go through this .That’s the level of them. You stay HIGH and keep using your voice. We love you.
Radhika Apte and Saiyami Kher also voiced their support for Anurag Kashyap, posting pictures with him on Instagram perhaps to validate their vociferous statements of support. A concerted campaign seems to be at play, wherein some female stars from the industry have taken upon themselves the task of victim shaming Payal Ghosh.
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@anuragkashyap10 you have been one of my closest friends, you have inspired me and always supported me. You have always treated me as an equal and I cherish the mutual love and respect we have for each other. I have always felt immensely secure in your presence since the day I’ve known you. You have been and always will be my trusted friend. Love ya💙
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This one is long overdue & very long! The first time I met AK he asked me to come to his Versova house. Before I could say anything, he said, “My parents live with me. You don’t have to worry!”. He was supposed to be the “Bad Boy of Bollywood”. His life according to the outside world was “riddled with drugs, women & vices.” The truth, I later learnt, was COMPLETELY the opposite. It was a typical chaotic Indian household. Parents looking for a newspaper, the doorbell constantly ringing, Shrilalji furiously cooking for the increasing guests, a cat strutting around & AK looking for just one quiet corner in his own home. From the time he offered me Choked (sitting next to me at MAMI) to the date of release, it took three years. That’s when I really got to know the man. He became a friend, mentor & sounding board. With him you know you get the whole truth. When he loves your work he jumps, dances, cries & expresses joy; if he doesn’t he just says it. The man has no filters. That is perhaps both his boon & his bane. He loves his whiskey; which I keep nagging him to reduce (instead increase his exercise!). He has a child-like innocence & open-heartedness that is seldom seen in today’s times. He’s so busy playing agony aunt in other people’s lives that perhaps, he forgets about his own. That’s AK for you. It’s always other people before himself. It’s rare to have people through your difficulties. It’s even rarer to have people who truly feel happy for you. Today, when the people who dismissed me three years ago call up lauding my performance, there’s no one happier & prouder than AK. Thank you for believing in me @anuragkashyap10 Thank you for making me believe in myself again!
What these women, in their bid to enthusiastically stand behind Anurag Kashyap are forgetting is that scores of other female actors in the industry, who have faced the brunt of sexual assault at the hands of Bollywood’s hegemons will now be reluctant to reveal their experiences. Ironically, the same feminists who were supportive of the shoddy #MeToo movement are now taking to hounding Payal Ghosh, and with her, the conviction of many others to narrate their ordeals.
Bollywood largely remained unscathed by the #MeToo movement, with many known culprits of sexual abuse in the industry not even being named at the peak of the movement in India. Now that Payal Ghosh has narrated her experience, feminists are not even willing to lend her an ear and are instead dismissing her accusations. What should have ideally been the response would be for such people to sympathise with the victim, and even if not support her explicitly, the only decent way to approach her accusations would be to ask for a fair investigation into the same. Yet, blinded by foolishness and dismissal, India’s feminists are spoiling their own game quite extravagantly.