Swara Bhasker: MeToo campaign should not be judged on the basis of number of caseshttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/television/swara-bhasker-metoo-social-media-justice-5572447/

Swara Bhasker: MeToo campaign should not be judged on the basis of number of cases

Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker says MeToo movement is a cathartic movement which has taught women to recognise that sexual harassment exists and this is what it is.

swara bhasker on social media justice
Swara Bhasker was present at the launch of Colors show Courtroom in New Delhi.

Courtroom, the new show on Colors, is inspired by real court cases. It will showcase the landmark verdicts that restored people’s faith in the court of law. Hosted and narrated by Vikas Kumar, it is scheduled to premiere on February 9. Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker, who is supporting the show, recently visited the national capital to promote the show which she says will enlighten people about their legal rights.

At the event, we asked Swara about her support to Courtroom and her opinion on social media becoming a courtroom in itself where people are in a hurry to give their verdict.

Q. What made you associate with the show Courtroom?

Colors show Courtroom has an interesting concept. People usually get scared by the word ‘court’. The moment they heart it, they either associate it with the big building of the Supreme Court or get worried about a long struggle with pending cases.

I agree pendency is a big issue with Indian courts, but it is also true that a common man has too little knowledge about his or her legal rights or the court proceedings. I think this show will give information about that in an interesting way because people will never sit down to read the laws. It’s one of the shows with good content and will force your brain to question certain things. It will definitely increase people’s awareness.

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Q. Do you believe shows like Crime Patrol have sensationliased crimes?

It depends on how you portray it. No subject is good or bad in itself. It’s what you do with that. Like there are news channels which try to sensationalize a crime. So many of them are reporting things that are happening in the country in an irresponsible and sensationalised manner. If you show a crime in a sensitive manner, then its good art. A very good example is the film Talwar based on one of the most horrendous crimes that we came across in the last 10 years. But if you see how some of the television shows have taken that episode, you will realise the difference. So, I think it’s all about perspective.

It’s very important for people who create fiction to not fall for cheap sensationalising which is very easy to do. You can show the rape of a woman in a way that will objectify the female body, fetishise that violence and in a very perverse way, give pleasure. Or, the same thing can be shown in a way that people realise how horrendous that thing is and make them cringe.

Q. Do you agree social media has become a court in itself for the public to share their verdict and seek a response?

Absolutely. I am actually against this idea of Twitter justice. These days the trial and the justice both happen on Twitter itself. I think social media is a platform for connecting but you can’t replace our judiciary with mob trials on social media. That’s such a dangerous thing to ask for. When this urge of justice comes to you, you make irrational choices. And to stop that from happening, we have the law, we have a court and have a procedure so that people who know the context of things and understand the legal proceedings can bring justice in a rational way. There should be a procedure to get justice. But of course, everything doesn’t only have white and black. Sometimes there is grey as well.

Q. We are talking about court cases. Simultaneously, MeToo campaign is losing its grip somewhere. Why do you think these people do not go to court?

I don’t think we should judge the MeToo campaign on the basis of the number of women who went to court. It is about sharing and accepting, ‘this has happened to me, I have been quiet for the last 20 years, but today I have the strength to share what happened to me.’

There are a lot of women who came out during the MeToo campaign but don’t have the proof as it happened to them 20 years back. We might not be able to send some of the perpetrators to jail because every case has its own complexities, but this doesn’t mean it didn’t happen with them.

MeToo movement is a cathartic movement which has taught women to recognise that sexual harassment exists and this is what it is. It is because of the MeToo movement that I realised that the director I was working with was a predator.

Q. How well do you handle the social media trolling?

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See, to become an actor, you have to be thick skinned because being in public eye means you will get a certain kind of attention. And, we should not lie. We came in the industry for this attention only. We wanted people to ask for our opinions, click selfies with us and with all of these, we get trolled too sometimes. What I didn’t realise was that your words can be misinterpreted. Now when I speak, I think whether whatever I am saying will make juicy headlines.