The last two days have triggered a revolution of sorts on the Indian Internet. Women from different professions and of different ages have called out multiple men for sexual harassment and abuse. Twitter threads keeping track of the perpetrators are being made and it looks like the #MeToo movement has finally gained its ground in India. Earlier in the day, Huffpost India published an article where the woman who accused Queen director Vikas Bahl of sexual harassment, spoke up. From the day of this incident – 4th May, 2015 till present day 2018, the survivor spoke at length about how Vikas assaulted her and how the co-owners of Phantom – Anurag Kashyap, Madhu Mantena and Vikramaditya Motwane did nothing.
Anurag Kashyap has announced that Phantom has been dissolved and in the aforementioned interview to Huffpost, the director has admitted to ‘not doing enough’ for the survivor. Vikas is known for directing Queen, a movie that is now considered one of the greatest in Indian cinema. Kangana Ranaut, the star of the film and one of the feminist icons of the country has now spoken exclusively to us about Vikas’s vile behavior. Here’s her verbatim quote –
Totally believe her, even though Vikas was married back in 2014 when we were filming Queen, he bragged about having casual sex with a new partner every other day…. I don’t judge people and their marriages but you can tell when addiction becomes sickness …. he partied every night and shamed me for sleeping early and not being cool enough …..I often told him off…. he was scared of me but still every time we met socially greeted and hugged each other …. he’d bury his face in my neck …. hold me really tight and breathe in the smell of my hair …. it took me great amount of strength and effort to pull myself out of his embrace, he’d say…. “I love how you smell K… “ I could tell something is wrong with him…..I believe this girl …. but what is sad is that now that Phantom has dissolved many are attacking him, even though the girl asked for help long ago, that time the story was conveniently killed but I supported her at that time as well, you can see my media interaction during one of my brand endorsement interaction, I thought the movement would catch up but I was wrong……at that time Vikas had come to me with a script about a gold medalist from Haryana…… When I supported the girl, he stopped talking to me, I didn’t mind loosing out on a good script and I never called him either I was determined to say what I felt was right ….but the matter was pushed under the carpet and I didn’t hear any updates about the same ……its amusing after the news of Phantom dissolution many are finding the courage to attack him…..shame on such a society…. go look at yourselves in the mirror bunch of cowards…… attacking powerless men won’t begin a movement …. either we do it or we don’t …. lets not be opportunists….if we are a shit society lets accept at least have that much honestly within yourself …. selective outrage will only serve as entertainment, this will just be tabloid gossip and nothing else ….
Thank you, Kangana, for coming through. In case you’re wondering if this case (which was earlier reported in Mumbai Mirror in 2017 and was basically an open secret) has affected Vikas’s career in any way, the answer is no. Vikas has managed to get top producer Sajid Nadiadwala to bankroll his upcoming film Super 30, starring Hrithik Roshan, one of the biggest stars of the country.
We hope more people speak up on this matter and not disappoint the survivor the second time around. #TimesUp