Entertainment

Producers’ Guild Bans Alok Nath…But Does He Care?

Alok Nath who has been charged with rape , and  has had multiple women calling him out after writer Vinta Nanda, is  back at the studios shooting. He  is apparently  completed his shooting for  the Ajay Devgan starrer De De Pyar De , and shows no  sign of remorse.

Actor  Sushant Singh , General Secretary of the Cine  & TV Artistes Association(CINTAA) is disturbed  by the  turn  of events. “We at CINTAA have been closely monitoring the  activities of the  victims and  the alleged perpetrators. And it is disturbing to hear Alok Nath  has been shooting despite the allegations.”

Does it frustrate and negate the efforts  of  CINTAA to curb and  restrain  alleged harassers?

“It’s a slow process . Change  of this nature  cannot happen  overnight. Men have been conditioned to think and  address women in ways that were acceptable for decades, not so  any more.It will take time for the  change to  show results.We are already seeing a less vitiated  atmosphere  on film sets. Men know  it’s not okay to crack improper  jokes with women or comment on their clothes, unless they are their  buddies.I hear men  say the day of harmless flirtation are over. Not so.It depends on  who or where the flirting happens. And men alone can’t decide it is harmless.”

An alarming and  unfortunate offshoot of  the MeToo movement in the entertainment industry is the unspoken threat  of  less women  being employed  at work places.

Protests Sushant, “But that was the case from even before MeToo. But yes, now it needs to  be addressed  more strongly. Why are women not  represented in  strong enough numbers in the employment register?”

Ironically  a Nana Patekar who has been called out in one harassment allegation was sacked from House Full 4  while Alok Nath called  out by many women continues  to work.

 Sighs Sushant, “That  is indeed tragic.We can only take the stand of boycotting them. It is up to the producers  to actually implement  a  ban . It is a moral  issue not  a legal one. NanaPatekar  was sacked after one allegation.And if Alok Nath is working even after multiple allegations then it is  a sad turn  of events. However  it doesn’t negate  the work that we are  doing in cleansing the work environment in the  entertainment industry. Nor does  it take away from campaign so  bravely  put forward by empowered victims, survivors , flag-bearers who have  found the courage to speak about their  trauma.”

Significantly  the relevance and  definition of  harassment has changed  over the  years.

Explains Sushant, “Swara Bhaskar was telling me about an incident that happened to her  some years  ago. When she   thinks  about  it now she realizes it was sexual harassment.  We know that men who  are being called  out anonymously are  sometimes  being victimized. This is an unfortunate  offshoot  of  a  very positive  movement toward cleansing the  work place.It’s just something we’ve to bear with. For  generations we men have been unfair in our treatment  of women. We have to take  collective responsibility. If some of us are called out wrongly then so be it. However there is a filter  to  the  process  of  identifying genuine  grievances from motivated ones.  Those like Alok Nath, Sajid Khan and M J Akbar  who are called out  repeatedly by  alleged victims are more likely to be  guilty than those called out once ,and that to anonymously.”

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