Thousands of boys and girls from Mumbai’s small villages and cities visit Mumbai each year, dreaming of becoming a movie star. But for many, the experience of going to Mumbai to try their luck in Bollywood remains a nightmare.
correspondent Reginald Vaidyanathan and Rakhi Gildiyal talked to several actresses who spoke of casting agents and directors to face sexual abuse.
Six years ago, Sujata (name changed) persuaded her conservative families to allow her to leave the village house and go to Mumbai to become an actress.
Sujata was only 19 years old at that time. And the acting skills were low and the contact was not at all. But soon Sujata met with those people who were advising him to teach the way to enter the film industry.
One of the same people, casting agent asked Sujata to meet her in the apartment.
Sujata did not feel anything wrong because such meetings were common in the houses.
But what happened to them is painful.
Sujata says, “She touched me there, where she wanted to touch, she put my hand inside my dress and when she began to take it off, I was left unsatisfied.”
When Sujata refused this person to do so, she said that her attitudes are not good for the industry.
Bollywood movies are famous all over the world
It has no way to confirm Sujata’s claims, but Sujata has told that she has faced sexual abuse several times to get the act of acting.
She tells that once she even went to the police, but her complaint was not heard. Rather the authorities said that ‘film people’ can do whatever they want.
Sujata asked to hide their identity because she was frightened to speak openly about it.
She believes that if any actress talks about this, she is accused of doing so to get publicity on it and this makes her image worse.
However, many people believe that it is common to ask for a saxical favors instead of a roll in the Indian film industry.
Usha Jadhav has worked in films like Veerappan and Bhootnath
Fear of retaliation
Talked to nearly a dozen young actresses who said they had faced treacherous comments and sexual abuse to take up characters in the films.
Such actresses refused to reveal their identity because they feared being told falsehood and then retaliated.
Film actress Usha Jadhav, who is honored with the National Film Award, is one of the few selected women who have started to speak public about the experience of sexual abuse.
He hopes that other actresses will come forward with their experiences knowing their story.
When Usha came to Mumbai for the first time, she was told that she would have to ‘sleep’ with the directors and producers to get the job done.
Recalling an incident with her, she says that I was told, “We are giving you something, you too will have to give us something in return.”
Usha says that some young women in the film industry think that they have no other option but to get the consent.
She explains that she has always rejected such sexual promos but she has received threats in which one person has received threats that he will not take them in his film because he has rejected his offer.
“She gave me abuses and said that you will not get a good role, nothing will be good with you. Then I said that I do not think you have such strength.”
Radhika Apte, a film actress talking to the BBC, says that strength is such a factor that gives rise to such things.
Radhika Apte is known to be Bollywood actor
Many big names in the film industry have so far silenced this issue, but Radhika Apte is among the actresses who have decided to open up on this issue.
Recently, he worked in the film Padman. This story was told about a man who made cheap sanitary pads for women. Radhika Apte has been talking about women’s rights both on screen and off screen.
She says, “I began to speak openly about this … I understand the condition of those women of the industry and they also have compassion for those who are afraid to speak on these issues.”
Radhika says that there is no simple or definite way to enter Bollywood, which is why such incidents happen with women actresses.
Radhika explains, “There is a rare opportunity in Indian films, our personal contact for this, our reach in the society and how we look, is all that important. While it’s a formal process in Hollywood that involves entering the acting school and then from there, the films are received through stage shows. ”
Radhika wants a Bollywood campaign like #MeToo to run in Bollywood as well. However at the same time, they also add that this will not happen until the big namesake people will not be able to support the victims.
‘Young do not speak freely’
Another well-known Bollywood actress Kalki Kakalan shared her views on the issue . Kalki has already spoken openly about sexual harassment with her in childhood.
She says that she yearns for young actors and actresses who are not openly speaking about the wrong behavior she is having.
Kalki said , “If you do not have any identity then nobody will want to hear you, but if you are a celebrity and then you are speaking something then it will become a big headline.”
But the issue of persecution is spreading beyond Bollywood too. There is a big movie market in India where films are made in different languages and women artists working in these regional cinema are also now speaking about the harassment they face.
Recently, Sridey, an actress from the Telugu film industry in South India, had publicly stripped her clothes in a film association campus protesting against the casting couch with her. Initially, it was told as a way to gain cheap popularity and many local artist associations also ban them.
But after the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission, the ban on them was lifted. Now the Telugu Film Industry has formed a Sexual Harassment Committee to investigate the matter.
Sireredi told in an interview, “If the people of the industry ask me for my nude photographs, why should I not remove the clothes before the public?”
Recently a young actress was allegedly abducted and she was compromised in the moving car, after the incident came to light, the southern state of Kerala formed a group for women’s welfare in the film industry. is.
But sexual harassment is not limited to just women.
Voice of male actors
Big Bollywood actor Ranvir Singh says that he had to face casting couch during an interview in 2015.
He is one of the few selected male actors from Bollywood who have raised voice against harassment. Similarly, actor, director and singer Farhan Akhtar has also kept his views open on this matter.
He started a campaign called MARD. Whose meaning is ‘Main Against Rape and Disintegration’, awareness campaign is spread in different parts of the country, in villages and in remote areas, for sexual violence.
Farhan Akhtar also has his views on harassment.
Firhan told the BBC that he encourages women to put any problems they face in Bollywood, put them in front of everyone.
“When women say that this is happening here, I really believe in them,” says Farhan.
Fiona is confident that even moments like #MeToo will come in Bollywood too. They say that this is possible only when women will speak openly, then people will feel embarrassed about these things.
While talking , most women said that unless a big and prominent person does nothing then there will be no major changes.
And as long as the time comes, there will be a story of sexual harassment and abuse from all the stories of Bollywood.
What shame on body is: Radhika Apte
To expose sexual harassment