Tanushree Dutta has been the source to stir up the Me Too movement in India in 2018. The actress and former Miss India in one of her interviews revisited her alleged 2008 ordeal she suffered at the hands of senior actor Nana Patekar on the sets of Horn Ok Please! This resulted in opening a pandora's box and many aspiring actresses started speaking up against the biggest names in the Indian film industry.
Meanwhile, Tanushree Dutta's interview sparked an outrage and Nana Patekar was instantly dropped from Houseful 3 and other projects he was working on at that time. Mumbai Police did register a case after 10 years but by June 2019, Patekar was cleared of the sexual harassment charges and their report stated that the complaint filed by Tanushree could be "malicious" and "out of revenge". A year after lying low Nana is back in the game. The actor is back in Firoz Nadiadwala's web series and Tanushree is mincing no words to express her displeasure. Read the exclusive interview.
Nana Patekar whom you have accused of harassment is back with a web series that is produced by Firoz Nadiadwala. Your reaction?
After harassing me, insulting me, humiliating me, threatening and attacking me and my family, sending goons to my place, cornering me with hired goons, spoiling my film career and life these guys get the support of Big Bollywood producer and get to make a grand comeback barely two years after my fight for justice.
Does it anger/sadden you?
I have been forced to stay away from Bollywood and acting for 12 years for no fault of mine. And people are asking Justice for Sushant?? Where is the justice for me? Please don’t let this happen. Don’t let these people get back to work while I still struggle to get my way back from my forced exile and wilderness.
Are you tired fighting these powerful lobbies in the film industry?
I'm tired of fighting this corrupt system that not only defends bad people but also is too quick to support and reinstate them while I face a constant struggle in my life. I have no time to fight also now. Coronavirus put an end to shows and events in the US. So I had to start training for an IT Job. I had to shift out of the corona-free mountains and move into COVID-infested Los Angeles city. I will be starting a new 9-5 IT job.
So is your fight for justice against Nana over?
How do you fight and do activism when you have bills to pay and no support from anyone?? That's why I feel so proud when I watch Kangana and others continue the dialogue, and fight the good fight and do the social activism that I'm unable to do because my life circumstances are such now.
What are these circumstances that you are referring to?
I have been earning my livelihood and supporting my family from the age of 16. These people took my career and livelihood away and bullied and harassed me into depression. But unlike Sushant I stayed alive but still, people don’t realise perhaps how hard my life has been since then and how much sorrow I have faced trying to get back to normalcy.
Why have you decided to take up a job?
I was not that thrilled at the prospect of a regular job but salary offer was good so I thought let's not dream and accept the reality of life! They killed the artist in me, they killed my art. I'm already dead so no one can kill me. My art was my passion. Bollywood was my life.
What are you gearing up for now?
I'm in training now. It will be a whole new life. Then I read about Nana Patekar’s return. I felt sick in my stomach when I read this kind of news. Even after Sushant Singh's death, Bollywood has not learnt its lesson in humility. Signing up Vivek Agnihotri and Nana Patekar in the same project is almost a mockery to my integrity and honour! And a kick in the gut to all the women and men who fought in the #metoo movement. Glorifying bullying and harassment most shamelessly! How many need to die before this atrocious insensitivity in Bollywood stops?? I'm disgusted, hurt and disappointed beyond repair.
Image source :instagram/iamtanushreeduttaofficial/