The #MeToo wave, which hit India in 2018, resulted in bringing forward many alleged cases of sexual harassment. From media and workplaces to Bollywood, everyone was hit by the rising cases of sexual harassment and abuse women had to face. One such name that was called out during the #MeToo case was that of Queen (2014) director Vikas Bahl. The allegations were raised by a former colleague of the director at Phantom films.
However, on May 31, Vikas was given a clean chit by the ICC with his directorial credit for Super 30 being restored. While the clean chit to Vikas has come up as good news for the makers of Super 30, it has received mixed reactions from the film fraternity.
Singer Sona Mohapatra, who has been one of the flag-bearers of the crusade against sexual harassment, tweeted, “The fraternity, film makers, crews, actors & all participants of this industry who know the truth should stand up & want to clean up this open secret of a mess? This is a systemic issue. Rehabilitation of such men will harm us all. Their disease will show up sooner or later.”
The fraternity, film makers, crews, actors & all participants of this industry who know the truth should stand up & want to clean up this open secret of a mess?This is a systemic issue.Rehabilitation of such men will harm us all.Their disease will show up sooner or later.. https://t.co/Rtwt37QE8F— SONA (@sonamohapatra) June 1, 2019
Director Hansal Mehta, who has also been vocal about social issues, told in a statement to Hindustan Times, “This calls for stricter investigations. These internal committees might not be the right mode at times; although these committees are known to have external people and lots of rules.”
Another person to react was actress Taapsee Pannu, who told IANS, “If the person who is accused of sexual harassment doesn’t get punished, the spirit of the movement and the spirit of a woman who comes out with the story of abuse in public get shattered… While this will not change overnight, we should not give up on the situation and should stop tolerating abuse.”
The first person to start the #MeToo movement in Bollywood, actress Tanushree Dutta, has urged Super 30 star Hrithik Roshan to take a stand against Vikas. She told Hindustan times, “I am very disappointed with all these media reports of #MeToo accused trying to sneak into Bollywood again with rumours of clean chits. I just want to say that nobody is foolish enough to believe these so-called clean chits given by internal committees and organisations we never heard of before. In fact I would take a clean chit by law even with a pinch of salt as many times due to lack of evidence and sheer pressure the victims don’t press charges on the accused.”