Social Issues

#MeToo India: “He locked the car and snatched my phone away!”

Popular Kollywood Director Accused Of Sexual Misconduct!

Poet and independent filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, who has been vocal about the ongoing #MeToo movement in India, has spoken up about her own experience, narrating her ordeal from 2005. Taking to social media, Leena alleged how Kollywood filmmaker Susi Ganesan had forced her to come to his house after she accepted a lift from him.

Susi Ganesan

It was 2005 when Leena, as a television anchor, had interviewed the filmmaker when he offered to drop her on the way in his car. Soon enough, he snatched her phone from her, locked the doors of the car, and forced her to come to his house.

“He pressed the lock button of the car, snatched and threw my mobile somewhere inside. Susi Ganesan threatened me to come to his house and I was scared. Later, the small knife which I had in my handbag (I always carry one since college) helped me and finally, I was able to get out of the car. I didn’t tell this story to my family members because they wouldn’t have allowed me to go to work anymore. I was also afraid that a known filmmaker like him might end my career using his influence,” she narrated in a series of tweets.

Incidentally, Leena had shared her ordeal last year but no one took cognisance of it. Susi Ganesan is a state award-winning filmmaker known for directing films such as ‘Virumbigeren’, ‘Thiruttu Payale’, ‘Kanthasamy’, and ‘Shortcut Romeo’.

Leena has since said that she will address the media on Tuesday evening.

The last ten days have been an important one for women in India, marking a watershed moment where women have been outing their harassers with their identity and anonymously, too. While this is being dubbed as India’s #MeToo and #TimesUp movement that was originally started by student Raya Sarkar’s list of sexual harassers in academia (LoSHA) last year, this year the moment gained more attention a week ago when former actress Tanushree Dutta shared how veteran actor Nana Patekar abused and harassed her ten years ago.

Ever since then, women have been opening up about workplace harassment with several names of prominent figures being added to the list.

In Kollywood alone, prominent names such as lyricist Vairamuthu, actor MR Radha, and singer Karthik have allegations levelled against them for sexual misconduct.

READ: All You Need To Know About The #MeToo & #TimesUp Campaign

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