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Dear women, please don’t let false accusations derail the #MeToo movement

Since time immemorial, we all have been greatly influenced by the ideologies and culture of the West. In Bollywood too, we have innumerable films that have been either inspired from Hollywood flicks or are an official remake of them. We treat our Western counterparts with such respect that we constantly try to compare our films with theirs’.

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Last year, Hollywood witnessed a huge storm in the name of #TimesUp and #MeToo movement. The movement led to a backlash against film producer Harvey Weinstein who was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Soon after, several women and even A-lister actresses came forward and shared their ordeals of sexual assault and rape, which led to several other celebrated names crop up. Some of these accused were immediately dropped from their projects and replaced overnight. With their contracts being terminated soon after, justice was served immediately.

Now out of all the things that we have imbibed from the West, the best thing that happened to Bollywood is the on-going #MeToo movement, which is gaining momentum day by day. I think a movement like #MeToo has been the need of the hour in our film industry since time immemorial. And now that it is finally here, everyday sexual assault/harassment experiences are being shared by women on social media. Unfortunately, we have also come across rumours of false allegations being made.

Since quick action is being taken against the accused, it has sent a wave of hope among several women who are not shying away from naming and shaming their harassers on social media platforms. Some women have mustered up the courage and shared their ordeal after decades. While others are sharing their stories, but have refrained from naming the perpetrators.

Interestingly, men too have come forward to lend their support to this movement. However, there are some people who have started misusing this movement to fulfil their personal vendetta. Trying to take advantage of the current scenario, some people have started falsely accusing others to settle the score. And not just women, even men can resort to these cheap tactics and may try to implicate their rival by cooking up stories.

There are filmmakers who have come forward to lend their support but instead got embroiled in accusations made against them. We don’t know if they are being implicated falsely or the accusations made against them are true. All we want to say is that we should not let this movement get corrupted by bringing ulterior motives into play. You can take writer-filmmaker Varun Grover’s case as an example. While we don’t know if he is right or wrong, but we are quite sure that more such stories will pop out in coming days.

I don’t remember when was the last time that we saw instant action being taken against offenders in this film industry which is quite notorious thanks to incidences involving casting couch and nepotism. Recently, Aamir Khan walked out of ‘Mogul’ stating that they don’t want to collaborate with anyone accused of sexual misconduct. He has even attended a meeting with the Producers Guild were reportedly they discussed about steps that needed to be taken in order to make the working environment in the industry safer for everyone.

The makers of ‘Super 30’ are now contemplating the idea of either dropping Vikas Bahl’s name from the film’s credits or altogether removing him from the film. Today Sajid Khan was dropped as the director of ‘Housefull 4′ after stories of his misconduct resurfaced. All these actions have set an encouraging example which will enable more victims to come forward and thereby make this movement even stronger. We hope it will bring out the desired results at the earliest.

Also at the same time, it’s important that we should not jump to conclusions without knowing the veracity of the accusations being made. We are not saying that we should stop believing the victims, all we are trying to say is that we should give both the parties an equal and fair chance to present their side of the story.

If #MeToo movement is taken in the right direction, then no one can stop us from making our workplace a better environment for both men and women. And what could be a better gift to pass down to our coming generations?

Also Read: Is Tanushree-Nana Controversy the beginning of #MeToo Movement in Bollywood?

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