Neha Dhupia, along with her friends and family, launched season 3 of #NoFilterNeha on Monday. Her longtime friends Soha Ali Khan and Sophie Choudry too attended the launch.
During a media interaction, all three women were asked about their take on the #MeTooIndia movement which gathered steam after actor Tanushree Dutta levelled sexual harassment charges against her Horn OK Pleassss co-actor Nana Patekar.
Neha Dhupia expressed how reading about these incidents makes her angry. She said, “As a woman, not just as an actor, when I started hearing and reading about it (#metoo movement), it made me angry. It made me furious. The fact that women are coming out and speaking about it. Firstly it (sexual harassment) shouldn’t happen, secondly it is very very brave that they are coming out and speaking about it. I read articles and people are still questioning it. There is no need to question it. We have to believe them. They put themselves out there to such an extent and then people are still saying ‘What if…? or What not…?’. No, not at all. It is a big movement and it started. It is great and now the real clean-up will happen. It is going to happen. It is happening as we speak. It is important that something like this is happening in India as well. So, I would love to go out there and support any woman who needs my help. Talking about it now also makes me angry, so, I am going to stop.”
Sophie Choudry, who was also present at the event, remarked, “People are asking Tanushree, ‘why ten years later?’. This is sad. It is really sad that this is what we are focusing on. She is not saying this to create controversy. She disappeared for ten years. She is not in her prime that she will come back and suddenly become an A list heroine. Knowing Tanushree a little bit, I can say that. She was asked why she was away from films. She clearly answered that. Today’s time is such that this is being spoken about, it is a huge deal. She can talk about it. Because ten years ago, even if I would bring up a few issues, the environment was not friendly. If you were glamourous, you would end up getting the blame. And we have seen that happening to Mamta Kulkarni. She was at the peak of her career, and yet she was completely alienated overnight. That was the ‘mohol’ before. Today, times have changed and women are getting more support. Are we at the level of America? No, I don’t think so. I think we definitely need to create a more positive environment for women to start speaking and opening up. We also need to make the lines clear. What is actually harassment, and that needs to be made very very clear.”
Neha then chimed in, “Adding to what Sophie is saying that people are asking ‘why ten years later?’, Farhan has also mentioned that this was happening even ten years ago. We have seen the footage. We have seen the fact that people were breaking her car. Why she has woken up ten years later is not the point. She was speaking even then. So, let’s not question that. Let’s question the people who are in the line of fire. Let’s question the man. Let’s listen to women a little more carefully. Let’s not just turn a blind eye. Let’s not turn a deaf ear to the situation and listen to what is happening. It is about time we all wake up!”
Soha Ali Khan, on the other hand, extended her support to any woman who wants to share her story and said that it is time women spoke up.
She said, “It is wonderful that women are speaking out. It is sometimes very difficult to be a woman in a country like India. They go through a lot on a daily basis. We have just accepted that as a woman being harassed whether you’re on a train, at work, on a film set, at the bank, you just accept it. You are taught to brush it all under the carpet. You are taught that you’d be a difficult person to work with, and we move on with our lives. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and say that ‘I want to tell my story’. Women need to be supported. Women need to be encouraged when they do that. It is a wonderful thing that it is being spoken about. That it is being accepted. I know what consequences are going to take place. I don’t know if there will be any consequences. I hope there are consequences, because that is what people want to see. That is what this whole movement is all about. Without saying much, I want to say that I want to stand with every woman who wants to share her story.”