Administration seems to be groping in the maze of media trial of allegation of sexual assault by Tanushree Dutta against Nana Patekar.
I have known Tanushree Dutta since almost the beginning of her Bollywood career. I remember speaking to her when she levelled harassment charges against Nana Patekar during the shoot of Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss song, and subsequently when her car was gruesomely attacked allegedly by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena workers in 2008. She was horrified and dismayed for sure! We had published both the incidents then but the entire episode withered away, inconclusively. A complaint by Tanushree Dutta was lodged against Nana, and a counter complaint was filed by Nana against Tanushree. The Police registered an FIR, but the case was closed later.
I had met her a few days before this incident happened. We spoke at length about her career prospects, which went for a toss as a collateral damage to this incident. Inversely, a terrible loss of face in front of the entire nation is staring Nana Patekar in the face, against the backdrop of this media trial he’s been put to.
Besides the polarisation within Bollywood, media also seems to be titled on either sides. As allegations, counter allegations, opinions and questions are flying thick and fast, certain unrelated individuals are inadvertently getting caught in the crossfire! To add insult to injury, media’s cursor has now diversified itself onto other big celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan. Our reporters ask them questions at the press conferences (organised for the film promotions) about Tanushree Dutta-Nana Patekar issue, and they expect instant and direct replies. And of course, we tend to get offended when the celebs claim ignorance on the issue, as we can’t take no for an answer to our questions, even if they are not relevant to the celebs being questioned. Then, the diatribe begins!
One of the biggest casualties of this intolerance of media became Big B himself when he said, “Neither my name is Tanushree, nor Nana Patekar,” when, during a press conference of his forthcoming film ‘Thugs of Hindostan,’ he was asked to respond to Tanushree Dutta’s allegations against Nana Patekar. Since then, the prime time on many news channels is abuzz with the debates around the so-called insensitive and indifferent approach of Amitabh Bachchan and other stars.
The pertinent questions to be raised are: In this entire circus, where is the administration, which is supposed to upkeep the law? And where are our leaders, whom Mr Bachchan, you and I have chosen to run the administration? Isn’t it their responsibility to bring the guilty to book? Isn’t it their responsibility to take a suo motu cognisance of the alleged crime and put this media and social media circus to an end? Isn’t it their responsibility to establish the facts to help twitteratis put forth appropriately informed points in their tweets?
It should be the basic responsibility of the government-run administration to not let the social media commentators and quasi-informed journalists like us to highjack such an important issue like a woman’s sexual harassment! Before starting a ‘Me Too’ movement in India, we need a thorough investigation in Tanushree Dutta sexual harassment case, so that neither the guilty gets away unpunished, nor the innocent’s reputation gets tarnished!