Tanushree Dutta and Item Public

Tanushree Dutta, Femina Miss India 2004, is in a lot of trouble. She walked out of the set of a movie alleging inappropriate behaviour by actor Nana Patekar and differences with the director.

Now the trouble part – she faces a 65 million fine, blacklisting by the industry and an unconditional public apology to Nana Patekar. The terms have been set by Raj Thackeray, yeah my man.

Tanushree’s allegations could be true or contorted. If its true (going by her statement below in Mid Day), it is a clear case of sexual harassment.

What awaited Tanushree on the set was four days of horror. “From the start, I wasn’t comfortable with Nana Patekar’s presence. Nana had just three words O yara re in the song. Still he insisted on being around throughout. That was fine. He’s the film’s hero and it’s his prerogative. But then, instead of the choreographer, Nana started showing me the steps.”

Tanushree made her displeasure at this very clear. “A couple of times, I pushed his hands away when he got too close. But it didn’t seem to make a difference. He continued to direct my steps roughly and aggressively. Things got really out of hand when Ganesh incorporated steps where Nana could get physically close to me.” That’s when the actress chose to walk off the set and lock herself up in her van.  full story

Tanushree the “item girl”, doing an “item number” – these are the phrases used by several media outlets covering the issue. Despite this, if her part of the story is true – it is a clear case of organized sexual harassment because neither I nor the legal system in India understand the term “item girl”.  She’s a girl who had the caliber to win Miss India, item or not. Its time we understand the spin.

Now assuming her allegations are false, even then the treatment meted out to her at the studio (shown on Tv) was despicable. And the story gets more interesting as Raj Thackeray steps in.

Nana Patekar being a true Maratha, or as Raj calls him “Pride of Maharashtra”, the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has taken strong exception to allegations of “indecent behaviour” levelled against Bollywood actor Nana Patekar by upcoming star Tanushree Datta. MNS has demanded a public apology from Tanushree, failing which MNS will launch an agitation against her. They have also asked the industry to blacklist her. On top of this, she has to pay 65 million in defamation fine.

The sad part of this whole thing is – these threats will work! Tanushree Dutta is no Amitabh Bachchan, and everyone knows what MNS is capable of. I would that our Tv news channels shift their zoom from her “item” bits to an individual’s helplessness. And perhaps give a minute of airtime to think how this incident will play out in the minds of several hundreds of girls who work in the movie industry.

The sheer helplessness of an individual against an organized regional outfit with complete disregard for law ought to be our problem, and calling her an “item girl” at this point is a bit too much of insensitivity. If Raj is ‘proud’ of Nana for what the maratha did to Tanushree, it goes a long way to prove what “maharashtrian” culture he wants in Mumbai.

Nana is not convicted, nor do we know what happened. But what is happening now is harassment of another kind. Then I wasn’t surprised when Raj came out in support of Nana because I was surprised a few weeks back when Nana came out in support of Raj.

So thats pretty much it. Next time Raj sets Mumbai on fire – support him! Then all those chicks are yours, if they resist he’ll agitate.

that must be the Maximum city!

9 Responses to Tanushree Dutta and Item Public

  1. bombaydosti April 1, 2008 at 1:18 am #

    hey, a very balanced post.
    Because in these, you will never know the truth, except that as the report from sify says ” a budding actress has filed a complaint against a senior actor putting her career on risk” and therefore some assumptions. And as you rightly said, an individual against a system.hmmm!

    appreciate the sensitivity in your post,not new from you – the road to elitism 😉 ?

    But as far as the legal system is considered,sexual harassment cases are quite difficult. In most cases, there will not be a clear cut evidence regarding the same. And there could be cases, where these laws can be misused as well.

    On another note, when companies, have started doing very many things for diversity, to ensure that women employees have a safe working environement, where, the first step that they take, is to increase the number of women in the system. Film industry, will probably take a little more time to get those “diversity %” up.

    And you just cant keep away from taking a dig at mumbai, can you? 😉

  2. neermathalam April 1, 2008 at 9:33 am #

    wow wat an idea…

  3. jiby April 1, 2008 at 11:14 pm #

    ee pannan adutha electionil MNS ticketil malsariche YUMPEE aakunnathum namukkineem kaanaam.

  4. BVN April 3, 2008 at 1:34 am #

    BD, 🙂 yeah elitism…join your club someday.

    Hope you remember the Nalini Netto scandal where minister Neelan was implicated. She was an IAS officer who had to face harassment.

    I still remember the spin then.

    Neelan is from the Nadar community and Nalini is a Brahmin. “Kerala Kaumudi” newspaper ran the headline (yea, front page headline) accusing a wider “brahmanical-upper caste” conspiracy against nadar minister. that was spin.

    Neelan was finally convicted, but the spin garnered him a lot of support.

    what i’m trying to say here is, vested interests defend their mascots with sheer disregard to law or propriety. Remember the “Gandhi-Nehru” – “Ambedkar-Shivaji” irony you pointed out?

    same way! if in place of NaNa it was, say it was one of those “outsider khans” there would be no one make it so dirty. Its all about who’s dog you are in the race.

    then yes, you never know, but is diversity the answer. even if it is one woman in an industry with a thousand men, shouldn’t she be safe?

    nothing bad about bombay, its the maximum the city has to go thru 🙂

    Neermathalam, kollam alle 🙂

    Jiby, ivanum enthekilum nakkan koduthal ivan adangum, allenkil sthiram shalyam aavum 🙂

  5. bombaydosti April 3, 2008 at 3:01 am #

    Yes, the spin, i get it now.
    Diversity is the answer, my friend or rather the closest answer.
    Safe, I would love to be, but its just not so! And its not even about India. And seriously presence of more women, ensures that any such instances will be taken more importantly and any safety measure provided will not be considered as a benevolent measure that is being provided but a necessary requirement.

  6. BVN April 8, 2008 at 3:57 am #

    BD, Yeah I get it…

  7. Viki April 13, 2008 at 3:36 am #

    Nana should be ashamed of himself.
    First he supports Raj over NorthIndian Issue .
    Bihar being at the centre stage.
    Then alleged sexual harrasment over an actress from Bihar.
    Has the hatred moved to the next level dude?
    I thought u had some standards but it seems u wont hesitate f***ing girls in ur fury.
    that to on sets…. joves

  8. Rajesh R April 24, 2008 at 5:17 am #

    See, we do not know for sure if there was sexual harassment or not. however it can be very easily proven considering this was a public scene which has happened. It is not fair to always believe one sided story of just a woman. Not all women are from Raja Harishchandra family and not all men are rapists.

    The nature of the bollywood industry involves physical contact. Call it good or bad but that is the truth and life in bollywood (not that one is not aware of it). Specially if it is an item number song, have you seen one such song which does not involve physical contact? At-least I have not seen, but may be there are such songs. If one is not interested in that she can either refuse or not enter the field.

    Why make false allegations? Regarding Raj, I have no love for him and I think he is just irrelevant to the real issue which is of filing false charges.

    The problem is this has become so endemic that it is just disappointing. Real scoundrels do their crimes while innocent get trapped in these biased laws which are mostly misused since there is no punishment if the case is false.

    Look at dowry laws (498a). About 70,000 cases are filed every year and it has been proven in criminal courts that 98% of them are false. But this takes about 10 to 15 years of precious youth to prove the guy’s innosence. Have difficulty believe it? Guess what- more info. more than 74,000 married men commit suicide due to family problems (What these are make a guess) compared to only about 24,000 married women. Shocked? These are the data from National Crime Record Bureau (Govt. Crime Branch- ncrb.nic.in) .

    Is dowry problem any less? Bet not- If anything only more now. So, in effect we are making a system where criminals of all kinds thrive and prosper. Want to read this abuse of laws like sexual harassment and dowry. Spend 5 minutes on 498a.org

    Again, My only complaint is that this is cleary in no way related to sexual harassment. Just a false case which in no way helps real victims.

    Thanks,
    Rajesh

  9. Raju patil November 4, 2008 at 4:25 am #

    very well said rajesh.. thank god not all the people are blind and north indian news channels followers.. 😉

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