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Shakeela actor Richa Chadha: A bad relationship isn’t #MeToo

Richa Chadha on India's #MeToo movement and the recent sexual assault allegation against director Rajkumar Hirani.

Written by Komal RJ Panchal | Mumbai |
January 18, 2019 2:26:13 pm
Richa Chadha Richa Chadha will be seen next in Shakeela. (Photo: Varinder Chawla)

Bollywood actor Richa Chadha and director Indrajith Lankesh recently launched a 2019 calendar inspired by their film Shakeela. In this calendar, Richa is showcased in 12 different avatars of Shakeela. Post the launch, the actor fielded questions on the recent sexual assault allegation against Rajkumar Hirani.

“He (Hirani) is one of the directors with the cleanest image, you must not forget that. There have been others who were accused but nobody said anything,” Chadha said.

When asked why the industry is silent in this case, and if powerful people try to close these cases to keep their images clean, the actor said, “It isn’t about a power structure. I think everyone is hesitant because they don’t know the facts of the case. Legally, a publication is allowed to run a story because they vet it with their legal team. But it is an anonymous allegation. I am not defending him or the girl either. I have learnt it the hard way. A friend of mine was falsely accused.”

However, Richa Chadha maintained that one must take a legal route in such cases as “lot of people suffer in trial by media.”

The Shakeela actor said, “Ever since this began, over three-four months ago, I have understood that legal route is the best in this. The press also plays a role. When you print hearsay, the powerful will suppress the story but many people get caught up in rumours. It has to be looked at from both sides.”

“A bad date isn’t me too. A bad relationship isn’t me too. Vendetta isn’t me too. We are talking about 2019. If exploitation has happened, you should definitely go to the police and take legal route. A lot of people suffer in trial by media,” Chadha added.

During the press meet, Richa Chadha also spoke about how she has supported other survivors and victims of sexual assault. She said, “If there is a survivor willing to come forward and say ‘this happened to me’ and confide in people, we must support her, which is why I vocally supported Vinta Nanda.”

The Shakeela actor maintained that she has been “enthusiastic” about the #MeToo movement as women should feel safe at their workplace.

“I am very enthusiastic about the movement because it is very important. If women don’t feel safe (around men), then how will the work be done. It shouldn’t be trial by media but trial by law. If you have filed a complaint, then don’t back out. If someone is putting pressure on you, voice it. There are people who will hear you,” Chadha concluded.

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