The #MeToo movement has arrived in Indian with a bang, and it seems it’s all set to make lives miserable for the ‘sexual predators.’
After Nana Patekar, Vikas Bahl, Rajat Kapoor and AIB’s Utsav Chakraborty and Gursimran Khamba were accused of harassment, the latest in the line of fire is someone we probably wouldn’t imagine even in our wildest of dreams.
The man to play the most ‘Sanskaari’ (noble person with ideal morals) roles in Bollywood, Alok Nath, has been accused of sexual harassment of the worst kind.
As more and more women are coming up with their #MeToo incidents, Vinta Nanda, writer and producer of some of the top shows of ‘90s, most notable among them ‘Tara’, shared her horrifying story on Facebook.
Nanda, in a lengthy Facebook post, without naming Nath, but giving enough hints throughout, said the most ‘Sanskaari’ actor and TV actor of that decade, sexually violated her 20 years ago.
Detailing her ordeal, her post mentioned how she was invited for a party at his house, where her drink was spiked and after she left his house and could barely walk, he picked her up in his car and dropped her home. In her own words, she writes, “I have faint memory after that. I can remember more liquor being poured into my mouth and I remember being violated endlessly. When I woke up the next afternoon, I was in pain. I hadn’t just been raped, I was taken to my own house and had been brutalised.”
Her trauma didn’t end there as Nanda also revealed why it took her two decades to come out with her story.
After the incident, she was going through a tough period professionally and was writing and directing another show when Nath again managed to join the cast of the serial. He ‘created an environment’ to make her ‘feel threatened’, following which she asked the makers to release her from the direction duties but she continued to write. Expressing regret for the need for job and money then, she also wrote, “While I was working on this new series, he asked me to come to his house again and I went to allow him to violate me.”
Before detailing these instances, Nanda also revealed that during the shoot of ‘Tara’, Alok Nath was ‘alcoholic, shameless and obnoxious’ and sexually harassed his co-star and lead actress, Navneet Nishan who even slapped him for ‘feeling her up.’
After being humiliated by the CEO of a channel who pulled down four of her shows, Nanda’s life took a turn for the worse after the aforementioned incident. She underwent a nervous breakdown and revealed how channels and sets started to ‘freak her out’, detailing how she would break down while pitching ideas to channels. She resorted to alcohol and drugs and that made it worse. But 10 years after the incident and with the help of friends and social media, Nanda’s life is back on track today.
Revealing her reason for coming out, she concluded her post, “I have waited for this moment to come for 19 years. I shout out to each one of you who have suffered at the hands of predators to come out and say it aloud. Don’t hold yourselves back. This is a moment for change so your silence will only hold barriers to its evolution. Speak out. Shout out from the top of the roof.”
We appreciate Vinta Nanda’s courage and hope this fight doesn’t end here and names and shames more such assaulters.