Actor-musician Karan Oberoi who was accused of sexual harassment is out on bail and gathering support for the ‘MenToo’ Movement, a counter rallying-point for men who have been falsely accused of, and sometimes jailed for years, for sexual misconduct.
In this endeavour Karan along with screenwriter Manish Gupta organised a screening the hard-hitting film Section 375 in which a film director is accused of rape.
Says Karan, “I could barely hold back my tears after watching Section 375. It is a very important film for a discussion at this point of time. I was emotionally quite shaken up seeing it. It hit a raw nerve.”
Karan is quick to add that his predicament was different from the one shown in the film. “The legality was similar. But I am way different as a person from the one that actor Rahul Bhat plays in Section 370.So there is no identification at a personal level. But surely the ordeal is similar.”
Karan organised a screening of Section 375 for men who have been falsely accused of sexual crimes. He explains, “It is a very important step in the right direction. I saw so many men break down on seeing the film. There were a 100 such falsely accused men watching the film. They need to know there are many thousands of lives being destroyed by this legal terrorism. We held the screening in Ghatkopar East(Mumbai) in Tuesday, October 1 at Ghatkopar East, 7.30 pm show. Neelyog Square mall.”
Karan was deeply moved by the plight of those accused who watched the film. “Each one has a very tragic story to tell. These are the ones who have suffered and chose to continue the fight for other accused and damaged people. I am just trying to galvanize all of them and to make an impact so as to the let the world know of the injustice. I want this kind of legalized terrorism to end with me. No one should be thrown into jail by any vindictive woman in the future.”
Adds Karan, “Section 375 is a pertinent film it is a mirror to society ! Films are a mass media, so they have the ability to make people see the fault lines that exist within our society. The fact that we have an evolved and more receptive audiences, to this form of storytelling , is a testimony to the fact that a lot of people are waking up to this harsh reality of false accusations of sexual crimes that plagues our nation.”
Karan says he felt vindicated after seeing Section 375. “ For me, it’s almost cathartic to experience this on screen. My association with this film is only to the extent that I understand and appreciate that it’s a very well- researched, well-documented and skilfully written film that the writer Manish Gupta has made painstaking efforts, showing the actual reality of our judicial and societal lapses on celluloid and I am a big fan of the writer Manish Gupta and the film’s director Ajay Rai for that ! We have decided to come together and take this initiative forward by exploring synergies and make the other affected voices heard in the best possible ways. To each of our strengths and voices together to make some difference. Justice has to be gender neutral!”