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BBC’s “Bollywood’s Dark Secret” speaks nothing

Anchor Rajini Vaidyanathan asks no hard-hitting questions. There is no answer to the crucial question: "why have Bollywood's casting-couch victims not come out with their experiences?"

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Apart from Radhika Apte holding forth in a British accent and Usha Jadhav speaking of her harrowing experience in a Marathi accent, the BBC's much-discussed documentary
BBC representational Image, wikimedia commons

Apart from Radhika Apte holding forth in a British accent and Usha Jadhav speaking of her harrowing experience in a Marathi accent, the BBC’s much-discussed documentary “Bollywood’s Dark Secret” says nothing that we haven’t already heard or seen.

Anchor Rajini Vaidyanathan asks no hard-hitting questions. There is no answer to the crucial question: “why have Bollywood’s casting-couch victims not come out with their experiences?”

Radhika Apte talks about men in Bollywood being as powerful as “Gods” whom no one would dare point a finger at. She isn’t doing it either. She has no personal story of exploitation to share.

Radhika Apte talks about men in Bollywood being as powerful as "Gods" whom no one would dare point a finger at. She isn't doing it either. She has no personal story of exploitation to share.
Radhika Apte, wikimedia commons

It’s all about others. Luckily for us, Usha Jadhav is not afraid to speak her mind. She speaks unabashedly about the man who abused her physically, touched her anywhere and everywhere, put his hand in her clothes.

But who was this man? I even asked Usha why she doesn’t want to name him.

“Because it wouldn’t be right,” she told me.

Right for whom?

Is this really what Bollywood has come to mean in the global arena’s “MeToo” campaign? Two actresses, one of whom is clearly talking about an out-of-body experience (all rhetorics and hypothesis suggesting she has never been through the casting couch), the other putting words to an experience that is too painful on recall and sounds more like a confession at a distress meeting in a sex clinic.

Beyond the truth about the symbiotic sexuality ingrained in Bollywood’s demand-and-supply mindset, there is the truth about the potential victim allowing herself to be exploited of her own free will.

Also Read: Rakhi Sawant Speaks up About Casting Couch

How free is that will which compels a girl to get on the casting couch voluntarily? The BBC documentary is not able to extricate Bollywood’s ‘Dark Secret’ from the clutches of cliches. It needed more muscle and heft to be persuasive. All we get is a couple of opinions swathed in vague rhetorics. No naming no shaming.

After watching the BBC’s sketchy account of the casting couch in Bollywood, I am more than ever convinced that the “MeToo” movement is far removed from our perception. The predators won’t stop, because there is no concerted will to stop them. (BollywoodCountry)

 

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Practice What You Preach: Celebrities Should Stand By Their Public Image In Private Domain

Industry spokesperson Ashoke Pandit sees an urgent need for celebrities to practice what they preach.

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Actress-environmentalist Dia Mirza feels an imperative need for actors to maintain an equipoise in their overall conduct. Pixabay

Practice what you preach. Priyanka Chopra forgot the validity of this adage when at her wedding in December last year in Jodhpur she was seen enjoying a fireworks display.

Suddenly her reputation went up in the sky – at least for a while. Here was an actress who has privately spoken up about noise and smoke pollution caused by fireworks, and there she was enjoying the poison that she had condemned publicly.

A co-star-pal of Ms. Chopra commented, “It was her wedding. She was just having fun, some unthinking fun. I agree she should have been more careful with what she was doing. But it’s okay. No harm done.”

Actress-producer Pooja Bhatt spoke about the need for celebrities with a voice to make sure their private conduct doesn’t contradict their public image.

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Here was an actress who has privately spoken up about noise and smoke pollution caused by fireworks, and there she was enjoying the poison that she had condemned publicly. Pixabay

“I can only speak for myself… I have always been the same person in my personal and public space. The world today, and especially most of the youngsters, are two different animals in their personal and public space. There is no room for truth in most of the lives they share with people… ironic since this is a time of social media where apparently you let people see you for what you are and intimately… yet there is zero intimacy.. just carefully manufactured illusions of reality.”

Shabana Azmi, who has constantly voiced her strong opinion on social issues, admits it is imperative that the powerful voices in our society desist from dithering.

“My father Kaifi Azmi was a rare poet who practised what he preached whether it was on women’s empowerment, communal harmony or social justice. But it’s a tough place to bein because celebrities are judged more harshly than others and people are quick to nitpick. I am very informal with close friends and can be quite a maverick but social media is so all-pervasive that what’s fine in an intimate circle becomes public almost immediately. I think one must be mindful but it can’t be stretched to impossible limits.”

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Actress Priyanka Chopra. Wikimedia Commons

Industry spokesperson Ashoke Pandit sees an urgent need for celebrities to practice what they preach.

“The celebrity should be educated enough to comment on that particular subject. Once the comment is out in the public domain, the celebrity must abide by it. He has a responsibility towards the society as people follow them. Moreover they should follow what they preach. One should be very careful when one has to comment on sensitive issues.”

Actress-environmentalist Dia Mirza feels an imperative need for actors to maintain an equipoise in their overall conduct.

 

Also Read: Technology Should Not Hamper The Child’s Normal Social Interaction And Environmental Learning

“I personally believe that if one consciously believes in a value system and has outwardly expressed this, then one would also need to consider the importance of reflecting those very values in their personal choices to the best of their ability.This should hold true for all of us. Whether or not we are in position of power.”

In short, practice what you preach. (IANS)