#MeToo Movement: Rajkumar Hirani sexual misconduct row: Here's why Bollywood's deafening silence is disturbing

Rajkumar Hirani is accused of alleged sexual harassment by the assistant director of his film Sanju. The Bollywood industry, which supported the #MeToo movement last year, is completely mum as Hirani is ousted for his misconduct.
#MeToo Movement: Rajkumar Hirani sexual misconduct row: Here's why Bollywood's deafening silence is disturbing#MeToo Movement: Rajkumar Hirani sexual misconduct row: Here's why Bollywood's deafening silence is disturbing
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The Me Too movement still holds a lot of relevance till date. It is through this powerful movement that women could come forward and share their stories and call out men and women who sexually harassed and abused them. In 2017, the hashtag #MeToo started trending on social media when several women working in the Hollywood industry came forward and exposed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Soon after their accusations, several names like James Franco, Nick Carter, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman and many others were ousted for their alleged sexual abuse.

In Bollywood, the Me Too movement took more than a year to start, but when it did, a lot of names came out. The movement began in India in October 2018, when former actress Tanushree Dutta recalled the incident when Nana Patekar allegedly sexually harassed her on the sets of Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008. Her courage, guts and bravery inspired a lot of women to speak up. While some women spoke directly, many preferred to stay anonymous and revealed names of men from the industry who sexually abused them.

The Bollywood celebrities who got accused of alleged sexual harassment were Vikas Bahl, Alok Nath, Kailash Kher, Sajid Khan, Anu Malik, Rajat Kapoor and many other celebrities. Last year, when Tanushree and many other women shared their stories, a lot of Bollywood celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Swara Bhasker, Richa Chadha, Sonam K Ahuja, Ayushmann Khurrana, Arjun Kapoor, Deepika Padukone supported the Me Too movement. They also appreciated the courage shown by Tanushree and these women. Though the movement has been going on and women have been naming and shaming offenders, it was only two days ago that one of the biggest names in Bollywood, director-producer Rajkumar Hirani was ousted. 

The accusations levied against Hirani was by one of the assistant directors of his 2018 film Sanju. Few months back before the story broke, the woman had sent a mail sharing her story to Hirani's partner and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Chopra initiated an enquiry and in the meantime also dropped Rajkumar's name as the producer from their upcoming film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga that stars Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Juhi Chawla. 

While Vidhu Vinod Chopra and the film's team did their bit to make sure they aren't associated with someone who is accused of alleged sexual misconduct, it still isn't enough. The list of celebrities who were vocal about supporting the movement and the cause just a few months back seem to be quiet now. Considering how popular Rajkumar Hirani and his films are and the A-list actors he has worked with, one naturally expects these people to speak up. However, from Aamir Khan to Sonam K Ahuja, everyone is mum about the alleged allegations on Hirani except Dia Mirza who starred in his latest, Sanju. 

Their deafening silence not only exposes the hypocrisy of Bollywood, but it also trivialises the very important cause of the Me Too movement. Celebrities like Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Sonam K Ahuja, Rajkummar Rao, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, and others are of the knowledge as to what impact their voice and reaction to the allegations levied on Hirani could lead to. But seeing not a single response or a reaction from any Bollywood star is truly disappointing.

Many people on Twitter often call out these celebrities for their diplomacy and hypocritical behaviour, but by completely ignoring sexual misconduct allegations against Rajkumar Hirani, all their previous statements of supporting #MeToo movement seem to be a token tweet. 

Their deafening silence has made us question whether they will only talk about the movement when their friends aren't involved? Are they afraid of taking a side because they want to sustain in the industry and think that their career is solely based on big directors like Rajkumar Hirani? Well, only these celebrities can answer what's stopping them.

Rajkumar Hirani is also a director who has been on the wishlist of every newbie and established actors. Will these accusations on him change their wishlist now?

We wonder why the film industry is not willing to speak up! It also leads to a question whether these celebrity opinions also come at a price?

Comments

I am very pro-Me Too and women speaking out..but Varun Grover's case taught me a lot about the gaps when a case is just leaked to the media without legal redressal and how it can be misused

I'm sorry, but I'm tired of these accusations coming out in the media rather than to the police. If these are crimes, then let the police handle it via investigation. But if you go to the media first without a police complaint, then I'm not inclined to believe you.

Always believe in the innocent until guilty theory - more facts should come out regarding the situation, then it’s up to public decide what they want to believe. Certainly this director should not be singled out in entire Bollywood

Instead of waiting for the legal proceedings to unfold, the stars could have at least said that they will support anyone seeking justice and will not work with sexual abusers. How hard is that?

Mumbai Highcourt gave an indicative verdict on the case against Vikas Bahl , it is not for people to use the stories to destroy someone. The victim and victim only can take action by seeking the support of law. Though it wasn’t called out by the judges they discouraged people conducting “janata ka adalat” on social media. Vidhu chopra’s wife also should have issued a statement on the same lines. The victim should take it to court of law. I am not saying she should be silent on media , she can talk. But for others to support her or him it is not right to do so. His work is impacted till that is sorted and that’s a price he has to pay. If it was false allegation the woman should be asked to make up for his financial losses.

it’s important to hear both sides of the story. in my opinion i don’t think raju hirani would do such thing but thats because i only know half the truth. i don’t know him or work with him... it’s just an opinion based on how he appears to public in general. I hope truth wins and gets justice whichever side it is

Raju Hirani is not a nana patekar or an Aloknath, this is an A list Director who brings in so much revenue to the movie industry.

How can celebrities give a definitive statement either way? No facts have come out yetmIn Tanushree's case the facts had been in the public domain for years. The woman must be supported to pursue justice but Hirani should get his turn too

it is true that they cannot give definitive statements as they don't know the facts and none of them gave definitive statements even then too but atleast reacted with general statements because those are not about star actors or directors

I think it would be really helpful for someone like Aamir (because of his stature and frequent collaboration with Hirani) to now say, we must investigate fully. the worst thing is a) silence b) defending hirani saying ah he can never be like this, the girl is lying. every victim must be heard with an open mind and empathy. otherwise no one will come forward tomorrow.

They all want movies with him...they don't care if he has abused women...this includes the women as well. As long as it does not happen to them!

He will not be making any movies with any A-listers anymore. He’s done he’s finished. Game over!

Maybe people are waiting for a little bit of proof to come out before they speak? Dia Mirza who was in Sanju has said that she doesn’t believe Hirani has sexualy harassed anyone too. There were witnesses and proof when the previous few men were ousted but as for Hirani, nothing really shows he has harassed someone. You cannot expect people to simply go against him. Wait a little longer, if he’s really wrong and celebrities don’t talk about it, then it’s a shame.

In a corrupt country like India, there will be millions of women who will agree to ruin someone's life and reputation for a few dollars.

I always thought he was a creep !! My intuition was right after all. I m not surprised at all. But bollywood wont react because he is one of their own!!! They just dont care

Mum because it is a lie, and you cannot destroy someone’s life, family and career based on unproven hearsay.

The problem is not believing real victims when they speak up, the biggest threat to the #metoo movement is the liars, the women and men who use it as a vendetta or personal gain, and they do not care about destroying someone’s life nor about the harm they cause real victims.

I think given the skewed power structure of bollywood and all male-dominated industries, I think we can agree that there are more instances of men at the top taking advantage of their subordinates rather than men and women taking advantage of the "me too" momentum to avenge a personal vendetta against these established directors and actors. in the later scenario even if someone makes a quick buck, they will forever not be able to work in Bollywood for sure; whether they accused a big or small fish they will be labeled problematic and dumped by the industrywalas. so stop victim blaming. listen to those who speak out and encourage them to take legal recourse. PV please post.

All of them have exploited women...be it Bachchans,khans,Kumars,Kapoors,Karan Johar,Chopras....women are afraid to take their names...because they control Bollywood..and they hv political connections,money to silence the heroines and media.CAN media take name of amitabh ,Srk,Abhishek,akshay,,Karan Johar,.all the directors,and producers.....NO Never.

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