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The BBC Expose On Bollywood’s Casting Couch Has Nothing To Say

Apart from Radhika Apte holding  forth in a British accent  and Usha Jadhav  speaking of her harrowing experience in  a  Marathi accent, BBC’s mych-discussed  documentary  Bollywood’s Dark Secret says nothing that we haven’t already heard or seen

Anchor Rajni  Vaidyanathan asks no hardhitting question. There  is no answer to the crucial question: why have Bollywood’s casting-couch victims not come   out with their experiences? Radhika Apte talks about men in Bollywood being as powerful as “gods” whom no one  would dare point a finger at. She isn’t doing it either.She  has no personal story of exploitation to share.

It’s all  about others . Luckily for  us, Usha Jadhav is  not afraid to speak her mind.She speaks unabashedly about the man who abused her physically, touched her anywhere and  everywhere , put his hand in  her clothes.

But who was this man? I even asked Usha why she doesn’t want to name him.

“Because it  wouldn’t be right,” she told me.

Right for whom?

Is this really what Bollywood has come to mean  in the global arena’s MeToo  campaign? Two actresses,one  of  whom is clearly talking about an out-of-body experience(all rhetorics and hypothesis suggesting she has never been through the  casting couch) the other putting words to an experience that  is to painful on recall and sounds  more like  a confession at distress meeting at  a sex clinic.

 Beyond the  truth about  the symbiotic  sexuality ingrained in  Bollywood’s demand-and-supply mindset there  is the  truth about the potential victim allowing herself to be exploited of her own free will.

How free is that will which compels  a girl to get on the casting couch voluntarily?  The BBC documentary is not able to extricate Bollywood’s ‘Dark Secret’ from the clutches of clichés. It needed more muscle and heft to be persuasive.All we get is a couple of opinions swathed  in  vague rhetorics. No naming no shaming.

After  watching BBC’s sketchy account  of the casting couch  in Bollywood I am  more than   ever convinced that the MeToomovement  is far removed from our perception. The predators won’t stop,because there is  no concerted will to stop them.

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