Ajay Devgn has responded to Alok Nath’s participation in the Luv Ranjan starrer ‘De De Pyaar De’. The Total Dhamaal actor came under fire when the trailer of his film released recently. In this wacky, provocative romcom, Ajay stars as an older man romancing a young woman. He costars with Tabu and Rakul Preet Singh and the trailer featured Alok Nath playing Ajay’s father.
A few months earlier, allegations of rape were leveled against Alok Nath by Vinta Nanda. Vinta had written in a facebook post,
"I was invited to a party to this man’s house, his wife, my best friend was out of town. It was usual for our group of friends from theatre to meet regularly so there was nothing unusual about my going to the party. As the evening flowed, my drinks were mixed and I began to feel strange. Then at around 2am I left his house. Nobody followed me or offered to drop me home, which was what was rather unusual. All I knew at the time was that I had to get home. I could sense it wouldn't be right for me to stay there any longer. I started to walk home on the empty streets although the distance to my own house was long. Midway I was accosted by this man who was driving his own car and he asked me to sit in it and said he would drop me home. I trusted him and sat in his car. I have faint memory after that. I can remember more liquor being poured into my mouth and I remember being violated endlessly. When I woke up the next afternoon, I was in pain. I hadn't just been raped, I was taken to my own house and had been brutalised. I couldn't get up for my bed."
Alok Nath denied the allegations and it was a shocking fact to many that he was featured in Ajay Devgn’s film. Ajay Devgn has responded in a statement saying,
"When the entire #MeToo Movement happened, I along with many of my film industry colleagues categorically expressed that I respect every single woman at the workplace and I would not stand for any unfairness or atrocity against them. Nothing about my stand has changed."
The Singham actor further clarified, saying, "Coming to the question of having worked with Mr Alok Nath in my upcoming film De De Pyaar De, here I must put certain things in perspective. This film was supposed to be an October 2018 release. The shoot of the film got over by last September. The portions with Mr. Alok Nath were canned by August in Manali. The said portions were shot over 40 days across various sets and an outdoor location with a combination of over 10 actors. By the time the allegations came out (in October 2018) the actors in the film including me had already started work on other films. It would be near impossible to get all the dates and combinations of the several actors in the film and attempt a re-shoot with some other actor replacing Mr Nath. It would also have been a huge monetary loss for the producers. Everyone is aware that film-making is a collaborative process. The decision to replace Mr Alok Nath could never have been mine alone. In this case, I would have to go with the joint-decision of the entire unit. Not to forget, I could not have brought the entire combination of actors back or put up sets again for a 40-day re-shoot because this would mean doubling the budget, which again wasn't my call to make. It would have to be the call of the makers. Had circumstances played out even slightly differently, I would have pushed for a different combination of actors. Unfortunately, this was not to be. I reiterate I am extremely sensitive to the #MeToo movement. But when circumstances are beyond me, I don't see why an attempt is being made to `single' me out as being insensitive. This is untrue."