Tanushree Dutta is back in Los Angeles where she lives. But she continues to make her presence felt in the Mumbai film industry with her strong protests against employing those who are accused of sexual harassment.
Her latest salvo was aimed at Ajay Devgan for being an empowered actor who has chosen to work with a MeToo accused Alok Nath in the upcoming romcom De De Pyar De.
Tanushree’s open letter on the issues has hit a raw nerve .
Speaking from LA Tanushree says, “I'm glad my sentiments are being echoed and mirrored by the public.It was needed. Nobody in Bollywood or for that matter in the public space , was saying anything publicly and condemning this distasteful and tone-deaf supposed casting coup.So as usual I chose to stick my neck out and do what felt right to me as soon as I came to know about it.”
Without naming Devgan, Tanushree wonders why Bollwood’s denizens don’t take a stand against those accused of sexual harassment. “I just don't understand why powerful and successful actors,actresses,producer and directors and other influential figures of Bollywood cow down so miserably and don't take a stand when it's needed. Why is something that clearly feels wrong and is wrong and can easily be corrected ,allowed to pass with deafening silence??”
Is it a collective cowardice? Tanushree seems to think so. “Not one tweet or statement from anyone in Bollywood ?? Or politics?? Or religion?? or anyone?? Why the conscience of the entire fraternity and the country at-large barring some Twitter users is so dead that there is no rightful anger or objection? I'm not loosing my head or sleep over it. I'm just raising an objection ... Anyone with a conscience can.”
Tanushree makes a crucial point here stating that we are targeting the wrong enemy by ostracizing Pakisani artistes.
“Instead of banning innocent foreign artists from working who have nothing to do with the war going on and hating each other in the name of religion and nationality maybe it's time to deal with the infidels of the spirit within your borders, the Godless of the soul and the blind of compassion! Can't you see that the biggest battle is happening within your own country and not across the border, and that there's a bigger problem simmering in your backyard, that of women's safety and major lack of respect and empathy towards victims and survivors as is evident in this case?”
She feels the Hindi film industry has an example to set. “If Bollywood, who the entire nation copies with their clothes, hairstyle and mannerisms adopts this kind of nonchalant and irresponsible attitude what kind of example is being set for the rest of the nation?? With great power comes great responsibility. I have understood this so I'm doing what's needed in this hour. When will the elite of Bollywood get it?? This is why they say that material progress without spiritual progress creates Robotic humans incapable of empathy, connection and sense of personal responsibility.”
She feels the silent acquiescence to malaise of harassment may cost Bollywood dearly. “I have an intuition that the makers are still far from remorse and are looking at this backlash as simply unsolicited publicity. But I feel the public will reject this film. I dunno, I just have a gut feeling it will not work out for them somehow. Maybe now it seems to work for them. But life has a way of getting everyone to their knees eventually. Some earlier and some later than others.”
Tanushree says she chose early in her career to demarcate her line of morality and to walk on the correct side of the line. “My songs all became hits and I did so many shows and minted money that not once did I regret making that decision to say No.”
She may write a motivational book for young aspirants in Bollywood. “Maybe someday. I think there's a major lack of a correct belief system. Erroneous thought patterns,old and outdated strategies and a completely rudderless existence is what you call Bollywood.”