Bollywood’s #metoo movement arrives with Tanushree Dutta

Tanushree Dutta puts Nana Patekar into a decade old soup.

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Tanushree Dutta and Nana Patekar is an ‘item’ though it will take a subpoena to make them admit that they are joined at the hip even if it’s to snipe at each other while failing to find allies. They are a couple because they happen to be India’s and Bollywood’s first #MeToo adversaries with Nana in the dock and Tanushree in the prosecutor’s role, aided and abetted by the new standard that says accusation is guilt.

It is called the ‘Gillibrand Standard’, minted freshly and finding currency in Democratic circles in the United States. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is a Democratic senator fighting tooth and nail to keep Judge Brett Kavanaugh out of the United States Supreme Court because women are unravelling out of 36-year-old cobwebs to hurl accusations of sexual misconduct at the Judge. Nana is in the same pickle. Tanushree Dutta is accusing him of sexual harassment going back a decade.

Tanushree Dutta, according to her own estimation, was a rising star and an ‘item girl’ in 2008 when Nana Patekar saw her shaking legs to an item song for the film Horn OK Pleasss and wouldn’t take a ‘no’ to a desire to shake a leg with hers. Things went downhill and Tanushree walked out of Horn OK Pleasss and alleged supporters of Nana took his anger out on Tanushree’s car with Tanushree in it.

There’s a scary video of the mob attacking the car. At the time in 2008 both Tanushree and Nana lodged an FIR each, but thereafter the case went cold and both actors went about their business. Tanushree played lead in Ashiq Banaya Aapne and then nothing more of note. She took a backseat and took stock to emerge now. Maybe, the Kavanaugh hearings gave her the idea: Go with the accusation and let’s see if it sticks. For Nana a blast from the past.

Bollywood’s first #MeToo and Tanushree Dutta says she’s so tired of holding press conferences this past week that her voice is gone and she’s recuperating to return to serve the “movement”. In her own words: “I’m resting to regain some strength while some other developments take place in the background. I’ll be back in a few days and join the fight again. This is not just a news story anymore, my friends. This is a war that I’ve been called to partake in for not my sake but for the sake of countless millions. It is my dharma, my duty as a human being.”

There, it’s out. The #MeToo movement that divides not just along gender lines but also co-opts volunteers from the Gents camp to throw in with the Ladies’ coalition and do their “duty”, Dharma! It is working in the United States, the tactic worked into the strategy to take down men. It works fine because the fight is not in a court of law but in the people’s court where speaking the truth is not as important as whose ‘truth’ is the more “believable.” Perception kicks where deception ends!

Tanushree’s accusations of sexual harassment against Nana Patekar may have substance but she’s not alleging attempt to rape or groping. Media, which would like nothing better than the #MeToo movement to takeoff in India, are diligently keeping track. And the divide is already showing. Big Bee Amitabh Bachchan has been branded anti-woman for not condemning Nana but Aamir Khan has been given the benefit of doubt for his statement that if “it” truly happened, it should be condemned.

At another level is Farhan Akhtar. A darling for calling the spade a spade. The progressive Akhtar says the case should be investigated. Several star-wives do not agree with him and actor Raveena Tandon doesn’t like it one bit that the star-wives don’t agree. Raveena is a pro-BJP voice and the BJP will be joining #ReadyToWait women in Kerala to ask for a special review of the Sabarimala verdict. Contradictions and inconsistencies are part and parcel of #MeToo.

#MeToo has since it took off in USA mutated into a movement to take down men and it has come in very handy to borderline feminist senators such as Kristen Gillibrand and Maxie Hirono to demonize the entire male population. Senator Hirono, in fact, told all men to “shut the hell up and get out.” Both Kirsten and Maxie “believe” Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford. No need for corroboration, they just “believe!”

Raveena and Farhan also “believe” Tanushree and that’s enough to drag Nana Patekar’s name through the mud. Nana himself is a pompous a** and a Marathi-chauvinist. Wonder if he even knows of the Kavanaugh controversy roiling America. If this was America Nana would be hunting for a hole, and quick. But Tanushree is quite aware of where things could go if she handles things right and the Press & TV play along. To quote Tanushree: “There are big media houses standing in solidarity with this movement. An excellent time to take these remorseless men to task and send a strong message to society.”

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