MeToo movement: Give me the name of an industry in India that champions women’s cause? Well, the corporate sector? No. Umm… the Industrial sector? Once again, it’s a No? Well, the media industry. Ohh… Let’s not open that can of worms. Can you still not guess it? Well, it’s the entertainment industry, often referred to as the Bollywood or the Hindi film industry.
How do they present themselves? Isn’t everyone in Bollywood a ‘feminist’? They accumulate several liberal ideas and often voice their opinions favouring the empowerment of women. But the entertainment industry is actually filled with phoney-activists, who actually willingly participate in the industry’s crimes. And the case of Sajid Khan stands in deposition for the same.
MeToo movement: The entry that raised eyebrows
Sajid Khan, the director, television presenter, comedian and actor, has many feathers in his cap. As you scroll down any webpage, this is what you get to read. Also, adding to that, the other information available is that he began his career as a host of the TV show Mai Bhi Detective in 1995. He also did a stand-up comedy show Sajid No. 1 in the late 1990s. Then he ventured into movie direction and has delivered some good results like Hey Baby and the Housefull franchise. He had delivered flops too, like Himmatwalaa and Humshakals.
As I told you earlier, this information is readily available or are being availed to make you look at his work and deviate from the important issue. The same Sajid Khan, who is an actor, director and what not, has been accused of sexual harassment by several female colleagues. The controversy began after it was announced that Sajid Khan will be a contestant on Bigg Boss season 16 that was set to premiere in the month of October.
Widespread demand to oust Khan
As the MeToo Movement reached Indian shores, in around 2018, 10 women had accused Sajid Khan for violating them. Here are some names Mandana Karimi, Saloni Chopra, Rachel White, Simran Suri, Marina Kuwar, Aahana Kumra, Dimple Paula, Sherlyn Chopra and journalist Karishma Upadhayay.
Some of them are actresses, some assistant directors and some are even journalists. There is even a documentary named Death in Bollywood, released in 2021, based on the suicide of actress Jiah Khan, which includes accusations of harassment against Khan on Jiah by her sister Karishma Khan.
After the revelations, Sajid Khan was barred by the Indian Film and Television Director’ Association from directing any Bollywood films.
After the recent announcement of the show, there have been widespread demand of ousting Khan from it, with victims claiming that a sexual predator should find no place on national TV. The Bigg Boss show along with Salman Khan are also being called out for giving a platform and opportunity to Sajid Khan for whitewashing his image.
Accusations against Sajid Khan was the pinnacle of ‘MeToo movement’ within the film industry. However, the Bollywood cabal is back at work. They are shielding an alleged sexual predator like there is no tomorrow. And trust me, Salman Khan is not the only one guilty. Earlier actresses like Shehnaz Kaur and Kashmera Shah had voiced their support for the ‘contestant’ Sajid Khan.
Now, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) has put forward a humanitarian appeal. The FWICE has asserted that Khan has already been punished for his alleged misconduct and should now be allowed to work for a living.
For living??? I mean, seriously!!! The FWICE, here, is suggesting that a one-year ban is all that you need to serve for violating as many as 10 women. And, put the brakes, there were the women who have spoken and there have been many who just bore the brunt silently.
It must have taken a lot for the victims to muster the courage to speak up. The step taken by the Bigg Boss fraternity and Colors TV, whosoever are the stakeholders, is a brutal pushback for the women willing to speak. The message is clear, ‘think twice before speaking about violations’ as it is going to be an everlasting battle and the culprits are being protected by the powerful.
The power hubs have always whitewashed the criminals. This is a fact about Bollywood that is hidden from none and victims have been shamed and hounded. The right way forward is, instead of demanding the ones at the top to oust Sajid Khan, the audiences should themselves vote him out.
The next thing in the chart must be to bring down the TRP, as many battles are won and lost on the scale of TRP. Bollywood is an industry that survives on hype and drama, meanwhile, in its silence, enables other perpetrators to carry on. For these reasons, the industry has been facing the boycott campaign for months now.
Rude to say, but this is not the first time
The entire Bollywood ecosystem, which like to think of itself as one which is resisting the ‘fascist’ forces currently ruling the nation, has time and again protected the culprits. If you think that Sajid Khan belongs to Bollywood’s inner circle and hence is being saved, then you are probably wrong. Why? You might ask. Well, let me recall some incidents for you.
Do you remember how actress Payal Ghosh was hounded after she had accused the leftists’ favourite Anurag Kashyap.
Aamir Khan, who otherwise remains on a spree to reform Sanatan Dharma, wasted no time to work with MeToo accused Subash Kapoor. While Tapsee Pannu came out to support her ‘friend’, Sonam Kapoor defended Rajkumar Hirani in the MeToo allegations against him.
The prominent names other than these were Anu Malik and Vikas Bahl, and all of them were saved by their circles. As, if you have contacts in the Hindi film industry, you can get away with anything. The MeToo movement could not deliver justice. However, it did expose Bollywood’s skeletons.
The champions of women causes are actually anti-women
Be it the case of Sajid Khan or Rajkumar Hirani or Vinod Dua, they were all defended by the cabal shamelessly. The same cabal that presents itself as the champion of women empowerment. Despite the serious nature of the allegations, not only did the Bollywood fraternity stay silent, but the flag bearers of feminism also came out to defend the sexual predators in broad day light. And, now a lot of effort is being put to shield Sajid Khan. Although, the entire machinery of Bollywood has mobilised to bury the crimes of Sajid Khan, they still are on the failing side.
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