The ongoing #metoo movement in Bollywood has come down hard on several renowned names in the Bollywood industry. Initiated by Tanushree Dutta’s allegations of sexual harassment against veteran actor Nana Patekar, several women in the business have broken the shackles to narrate their traumatic experiences at work.
And if there is someone who has been ripped apart by numerous charges of sexual assault, it is Indian film producer and director Vikas Bahl.
To begin with, the 47-year-old was accused of taking sexual advantage of a former Phantom Films employee. Revealing the shameful episode, the woman recited how Vikas forcibly masturbated on her back in a hotel room.
Standing firm by the woman, ‘Queen’ actress Kangana Ranaut doubled the accusations on the director. Kangana in her statements mentioned alleged Vikas of burying his face in her neck and smelling her hair whenever they met and greeted each other.
However, the series of accusations saw a third addition, when Vikas was slammed by another woman for trying to kiss her on the lips in a party.
Needless to say, his career has been left in turmoil following the allegations. With Hrithik Roshan refusing to work with him in his upcoming film Super 30, he is all set to be removed from the film credits. His producing enterprise, Phantom Films has also been dissolved.
And now, ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ actor Imran Khan has piled up on his miseries with some more ground-breaking revelations.
In an interview with The Indian Express, Imran stated that he was well aware of Vikas Bahl’s disgusting habits. He mentioned that he was informed by three different actresses about the man’s dirty games which included everything from improper touching to asking for something in return of casting someone in a film.
“I have heard his stories from three other actresses. Ranging from inappropriate touching to straight up saying that if you were cast in the film, what will I get in return.”
Imran added that people became aware of the claims against Vikas Bahl in 2017. The actor even tried to initiate the #metoo movement in Bollywood at a party six month ago, only to find himself alone in the attempt.
“I saw him smiling (Vikas Bahl), posing for pictures with every celebrity in the industry. At that point, he started making a film with Hrithik (Roshan). I was like how is it in Hollywood a culprit is shunned but here he was making a proper film. Everyone was socialising with him. So, I brought it up at the party and realised only I was only odd one there.”
Speaking about why he took so long to speak up, Imran claimed that he was asked to keep quiet. According to the 35-year-old, he kept shut thinking that people would label his actions as a publicity stunt.
“I was advised to stay quiet because they said people will assume I am trying to grab publicity. They (people) will say I am trying to become relevant and come in the news since my films have not worked well. Time and again, people around me will tell me to not speak up.”
To end it, Imran issued an apology to all the women for not taking a stand to date.
“I cannot be silent about it anymore. My conscience will not allow me to…I do not want them to feel that men in the industry are not standing by them. I have chosen my words and said what I intended to say. I have been silent for long enough and it makes me feel dirty.”
The #metoo movement is definitely bringing about a new dawn in the Bollywood industry. With many of the sexual predators exposed, we can rightfully celebrate the destruction of the several Mahisasuras, ahead of the Durga Puja.