The last month has brought to the fore the topic of sexual harassment after revelations about Harvey Weinstein came up – around 70 women have accused the Hollywood mogul of rape, sexual abuse and harassment. It was horrifying and disturbing, and made us all think one thing – surely, there must be more such Harvey Weinstein’s in Bollywood. While it will be a long time before women in Bollywood come out and talk about it (blame patriarchy and victim shaming), Richa Chadha has some very solid things to say. Known to always speak her mind – whether it’s about Bollywood or politics – her honesty is refreshing.
In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, she was asked if and when women in Bollywood will open up. Here’s what she said,
I don’t see that happening immediately given the culture of naming and shaming in our country. But when it happens, as it is happening in Hollywood right now, the entire power structure will change. People, who you see making feminist films and claiming to be progressive etc, they will all come tumbling down. We will lose a lot of heroes and several people will lose their lives’ work, their legacies. I think that’s what people will attack – they can’t attack them monetarily so they will go after the legacies. And it will happen, I would think in the next four-five years. It is very sexy to say, ‘Bollywood, ye gire hue log. They do this for work, they are just a cesspool for parties and all. We have a very fertile imagination when it comes to Bollywood. But we refuse to look at others. The press has a role in this – they should not be jumping on a hashtag. The press should be consistently creating a support system for the victim to come forward to say ‘this happened to me and he did that’. The judiciary has a role. I once met a rapist who said ‘mereko to bus saat saal ki sazaa hogi and then I am back to a normal life’, no remorse whatsoever.
Gosh, can you imagine meeting a rapist who thinks that? That’s incredibly disturbing.
More power to you always, Richa. She has in the past written a powerful note on #MeToo – you can read it here.