In the light of the current MeToo movement, Mahesh Bhatt feels it is a long journey as it requires a deeper change. The filmmaker, who was in New Delhi to promote his latest production Jalebi, exclusively spoke to indianexpress.com about why we need to do more than just expressing our outrage.
“Women have fought this for long, but now it is happening here and more power to them. But you can’t solve these problems through quotes or public opinion. It needs a much deeper, inner change. That’s why we have put them in temples. And the temple is a place of the heart, where you revere women and give them that place. I think that is the most important thing. Also, let’s not be in a hurry to see a happy ending with just expressing your outrage, because it’s a long journey,” Bhatt said.
Sharing his personal stories and take on how women need to take things in their hands, he shared, “I remember the incident of Mr. Gill, the man who stopped the insurgency in Punjab. He was pulled up by a woman for inappropriate behaviour and there was legal action taken against him. So it was not something that was born with Bollywood or not something that happened overseas. It was there.”
“I remember my domestic help with whom I went to the market one day. Somebody tried to grope her. She turned around and gave him a slap in the market. And I still remember the sound of her bangles! She was like a tigress. I’ll never forget she looked so beautiful when she was like that!” he added.
Jalebi actor Rhea Chakraborty, who was also present at the promotions, added, “MeToo came six years ago in America. People spoke even then, people are speaking even now. But now couple of Bollywood people have spoken so it has become a thing, but I am glad that it did because more girls need to talk and more girls need to feel that there are more girls out there who are talking. So they are not fearful, they are not scared anymore. At the same time until and unless there is a resolution or a solution to this, it’s just going to be conversation points.”
The MeToo movement in Indian gained steam after actor Tanushree Dutta once again accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her during the shooting of 2008 film Horn Ok Pleassss. This was followed by several women coming forward to share their ordeal. So far, Vikas Bahl, Rajat Kapoor, Alok Nath, Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba are among those who’ve been accused of allegedly harassing women.
Organisations like MAMI and CINTAA have also pledged strict action against these men.