Social Issues

QUESTION: #MeToo Movement a free pass for the Men of Cinema?


#MeToo began trending in India after Bollywood Actress Tanushree Dutta accused Director Nana Patekar of sexual harassment in late 2018. Following her many women came forward from varied profiles naming their accusers bravely on their social media profiles. These warriors of women have been lauded for their courage by many, lashed, humiliated by many more. Lots of these women have been banned from their respective industries and workplaces too, all because they openly labeled their accusers.



This trend of seeking the people’s support for their mental and physical trauma caused by such ill-deeds in their past has sought no to very little justice to these women. On that list, Singer Chinmayi named Lyricist Vairamuthu, Director Leena Manimekalai named Director Susi Ganeshan, Actress Sruthi Hariharan named Actor Arjun Sarja, and many more. What do all these women have in common? Their long haul for Justice in the Court, Years of Humiliation and Forcefully stopped to do their profession.



Recently, the Bengaluru court had closed the case by Sruthi Hariharan against her Nibunan co-actor Arjun Sarja due to lack of evidence. Sruthi filed a Sexual Assault complaint against the actor in 2018 and an FIR was booked for the same. Arjun approached the High Court requesting to quash the FIR claiming the allegations to be incorrect and false. And now with the latter’s win, Sruthi hasn’t stopped and is in talks with her Advocates on how to move forward on the same.



Leena Manimekalai named her accuser – director Susi Ganeshan. explicitly during the outbreak of the #MeToo movement in 2018 to which Susi replied that these are false allegations as he didn’t allow her to work alongside him and filed criminal defamation on her. But, by the end of 2020, the court dismissed his petition. This director requested reopening his petition to impound her passport again in August 2021, to which the court accepted and impounded her passport via a notification to her mail-in September 2021. Leena has now filed a writ petition contesting the impounding.

Looking back, the wait to heal their wounds ending in vain has been repetitive not just for her but many like her who came forward under the #MeToo Movement. Is it because these women named some of the biggies of the industry? Is it a gender issue? Is it a matter of stature or status? Or is this a concern of society on whole? Are we as a society responsible for the loss of these women or several other women who never came forward? Is it years of trained Patriarchy that has let these young women fear to not speak up or come forward even years after their assault?


Hoping to find answers, solutions but most of all JUSTICE to the women who choose to name their predator irrespective of his social standing. Will we see a day when #MeToo flourishes and people are more supportive of the survivors and the battle that they choose to fight?

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