‘She must’ve been on her period’: Bollywood stalwarts caught on tape mocking Tanushree

While 'Horn Ok Pleassss' director Rakesh Sarang said Tanushree had made the allegations against Nana Patekar for publicity, producer Samee Siddiqui said she must have been on her period.
‘She must’ve been on her period’: Bollywood stalwarts caught on tape mocking Tanushree
‘She must’ve been on her period’: Bollywood stalwarts caught on tape mocking Tanushree
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Several notable film personalities from Bollywood have come in support of Tanushree Duta after she accused veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008. However, there are yet others who have not only dismissed Tanushree’s story, but also mocked her, trivilaising her trauma by calling it an over-reaction and worse.

According to sting operations by Times Now, whose tapes were released by the channel on Thursday, the Producer of Horn Ok Pleassss Samee Siddiqui, the film’s director Rakesh Sarang, the Cine & TV Artists Association (CINTAA) member Raza Murad and former FTII chairperson Gajendra Chauhan were all caught on tape mocking Tanushree and making sexist comments and remarks amounting to victim shaming.

“Should I tell you the truth? I feel that day she was on her periods. So, you get irritated. Small touch or maybe something else, even I don’t know what exactly happened because I wasn’t there,” Samee Siddiqui was caught saying.

The fact that Samee was not there, did not stop him from giving his assessment of why Tanushree felt the way she did.

Gajendra Chauhan, who headed the scrutiny panel at CINTAA when Tanushree submitted a written complaint about the sexual harassment she allegedly faced on set, washed CINTAA’s hands off the incident. He went on to say that the burden of proof was on Tanushree since she is the victim.

“What can CINTAA do? It cannot act like police. It can’t make Nana Patekar appear before it. How will it prove that Nana is the culprit?” Gajendra questioned. When the reporter pointed out that there were many people on the set who could be called as witnesses, Gajendra said, “Ask them to come to court and speak. If it comes to going to court or police, not one of them will come forward.”

“First she should prove herself as victim! Just by saying, you won’t become a victim. You were roaming as a victim for 10 years!” he further mocks.

Incidentally, CINTAA on Tuesday issued a statement in support of Tanushree. “CINTAA strongly condemns any act that outrages the modesty of any individual and any form of sexual harassment is unacceptable to us,” the group said.  

They also decried the decision taken by the CINTAA Executive Committee in 2008 when Tanushree had filed a complaint of sexual harassment against Nana Patekar. “After going through Tanushree Dutta's complaint, which was filed with the then Executive Committee of CINTAA in March 2008, we feel that the decision was taken in the Joint Dispute Settlement Committee of CINTAA and Indian Film and TV Producers Council (which was then known as Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programme Producers) in July 2008 was not appropriate, as the chief grievance of sexual harassment wasn't even addressed,” according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Rakesh Sarang said that Tanushree was making the allegations because of Bigg Boss. “Now girls are giving their bedroom sex videos on the internet. This is what has happened to this industry. People are taking their clothes off for publicity. Their attitude is, so what if we get a bad name, at least we’ll get publicity,” Rakesh said. He further questioned why Tanushree was “shouting” and not going to the police.

Finally, Raza Murad dismissed Tanushree’s story as an “over-reaction”. He also said that Tanushree, who was in the US, should have been the one to follow up on the case and complaint with CINTAA. When asked what he thought about the case, Raza said “she’s over-reacting.” He even backed Nana Patekar who he described as “no sweet talker, but a gentleman”.

CINTAA’s executive committee member seems to have no qualms about the fact that he doesn’t know anything about the Vishakha guidelines on probing sexual harassment cases. “It’s an over-reaction. It’s done now. What can be said?” Raza reiterates.

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