The Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) has suspended television anchor turned filmmaker Sajid Khan for one year from filmmaking. During this period Khan will not be allowed to direct films in any format .
The IFTDA declares, “We have seriously taken the sexual harassment complaints of Ms. Rachel White, Actor, Ms. KarishmaUpadhyay, Journalist, Ms Simran Suri, Actor, Ms. Saloni Chopra, Actor .The Committee investigated the Complaints in the spirit of POSH Act and in compliance of principles of natural justice, equity and fair play. The allegations in the Complaints are serious instances of sexual harassment, unwelcome sexually determined behaviour, unwarranted contact by poking and advances, demands for sexual favours and abuse of power by Sajid Khan. Mr. Sajid Khan was given opportunity to put forth his defense. He did not give any explanation, response or defense to the allegations of sexual harassment, unwanted physical contact, unwelcome sexually determined behaviour, poking at the girls and asking the girls to seduce or strip or to show cleavage and other sexual misconduct and thereby traumatized them mentally and emotionally. Mr. Sajid Khan did not accept the sexual molestation of the complainants but admitted that his behavior and language was impolite, he had been brash and used abusive language with his friends, which included boys and girls. He admitted that he had sex relations with girls, but with their consent.”
Apparently a television interview given to the popular portal Bollywood Hungama nailed Sajid. In the interview Sajid Khan is heard bragging. “In and out of so many relationships. Then I have learnt.. I was a big dog in my 20s… I am telling you.. I was a big kameena aadmi seriously in my twenties I have broken a lot of hearts.. I have lied, I have cheated I have deceived like most of the guys do.. But I was on television getting successful / was getting busier / was treating woman very badly.. All the nice girls in my life I have treated them very badly in my twenties.. In my 30s somewhere I started concentrating on film making .So when you start making films you mentally don’t start getting attracted towards women.. Doesn’t mean you get attracted to men but you only start thinking of your film.. It becomes like a big responsibility and I am sure every normal film maker will agree with me.. now in my 40s I am very happy the way I am .. ‘arrey but don’t you miss someone’? No.. Because the very person you miss in your life to fill in the void is the person you want to miss in the next 3 months.. yaar kab jaegiyeh.”
Speaking on behalf of IFTDA , their investigator Ashoke Pandit says, “We’ve implemented the optimum punishment within the legal parameters. Some of the best legal and intellectual minds have been consulted. But we feel that the final decision to work or not work with Sajid Khan or any other alleged offender lies with the filmmakers.It is more a moral than a legal issue. Producer Sajid Nadiadwala acted swiftly and correctly against Sajid Khan , sacked him from Housefull 4 in spite of his close relations with Sajid’s sister Farah Khan. It is up the rest of the industry how they want to take this forward. We at IFTDA have done what we could.”
A source that wishes to go unnamed from the IFTDA says, “Our hands were tied by judicial considerations. Or else we would have banned him for a lifetime. However Sajid Khan is not Raj Kumar Hirani. He will be forgotten in a year.”