#MeToo: Alok Nath accused of rape by writer-producer Vinta Nanda
The #MeToo movement has finally taken off in India, all thanks to actress Tanushree Dutta‘s accusation against Nana Patekar that has given strength to many women to come out in the open about the sexual harassment prevalent in the glamour world. After Nana Patekar, Vivek Agnihotri, Vikas Bahl and All India Bakchod’s co-founder Gursimran Khamba, we now have Indian film and television’s very own ‘sanskari babuji’ Alok Nath, who has been accused of rape and repeated sexual assault.
Veteran TV writer, producer and director Vinta Nanda, in a detailed Facebook post on Monday, has alleged that Nath raped her more than once and was also sacked from their iconic show ‘Tara’ for misbehaving with its lead actress.
Nanda opened up about her ordeal to IANS via SMS and said: “It is Alok Nath. I thought saying ‘sanskaari’ would do the needful. He was an alcoholic, shameless and obnoxious but he was also the television star of that decade, so not only was he forgiven for all his bad behaviour, many of the guys would also egg him on to be his worst. My lead female actor was being harassed by him. He would mess with her on the sets and everyone would be silent. When she complained to us, we decided to let him go.”
Sharing the “worst” that happened, Nanda recounted the incidents that followed after she left a party at Alok’s house at 2 a.m. She says her drinks were mixed. “I was invited to a party to this man’s house, his wife, my best friend was out of town. It was usual for our group of friends from theatre to meet regularly so there was nothing unusual about my going to the party. As the evening flowed, my drinks were mixed and I began to feel strange. Then at around 2 am I left his house. Nobody followed me or offered to drop me home, which was what was rather unusual. All I knew at the time was that I had to get home. I could sense it wouldn’t be right for me to stay there any longer,” she wrote.
“I started to walk home on the empty streets… Midway I was accosted by this man who was driving his own car and he asked me to sit in it and said he would drop me home. I trusted him and sat in his car. 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. I couldn’t get up for my bed. I told some of my friends but everybody advised me to forget about it and move on,” she added.
Later, she got a job to write and direct a series for Plus Channel, where her paths crossed with Alok Nath again. He continued to follow and sexually harass her across shows for years until he broke her confidence completely.
Nanda has urged people “who have suffered at the hands of predators, to come out and say it aloud”.