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Nana Patekar Denies Accusations Of Sexual Harrassment

While a string of Bollywood celebrities, including filmmakers and actors have called out casting couch and sexual harassment in the industry, naming and shaming is yet to become a reality.

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Tanushree Dutta And Nana Patekar. DNA
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Actor Nana Patekar on Thursday dismissed an accusation of sexual harassment by actress Tanushree Dutta, saying he may take legal action.

In his first response since the allegation re-emerged this week a decade after Tanushree Dutta had spoken out about it, Nana Patekar told Mirror Now: “What can I do about what one says? You tell me. What does it mean by sexual harassment?”

Tanushree Dutta, who had first raised the allegation against Nana Patekar in 2008, brought the spotlight once again on her unsavoury experience of working with the actor in the film “Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss”, through a recent interview.

Nana Patekar told Mirror Now: “We were on the set and there were 200 people sitting in front of us. What I can say?”

Asked if he will take any legal action, he said: “I will see what can be done legally. (When asked about any legal action) Let’s see. It is also wrong/inappropriate to talk to you (media) since you publish anything.”

Nana patekar
Nana Patekar

On the allegation that there’s a different face to the National Award-winning actor, Nana said: “Let anyone say anything. I will continue to do in my life what I have been doing.”

Tanushree’s allegation is being seen as one that is likely to kickstart Bollywood’s own #MeToo movement.

She has hit out at Nana and named choreographer Ganesh Acharya, director Rakesh Sarang and producer Sami Siddiqui as accomplices in the harassment she faced.

Back in 2008, at a press conference to address the “indecent behaviour” allegation by Tanushree, Nana had said he was highly surprised at the charges by the actress, who he said was “my daughter’s age”.

On her part, the former beauty queen has said her voice was suppressed back then by Nana’s powerful position.

Nana patekar
Tanushree hopes her story gives “girls a sense of confidence to come out with their story if they are suffering”.

Strong reactions from Bollywood are yet to emerge on the controversy.

In fact, Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan on Thursday dodged a question about the news, steering clear from the row.

At a film’s trailer launch, a mediaperson asked the thespian and superstar Aamir Khan to share their views.

Big B said: “Naa toh mera naam Tanushree hai, naa hee Nana Patekar. Kaise uttar dun aapko iss sawaal ka? (Neither is my name Tanushree, nor is it Nana Patekar. How do I answer this question?)”

On the other hand, Aamir said: “Without knowing the veracity of something or the details of something, I don’t think I can comment. It is not right for me. But I would like to say that whenever something like this does happen, it’s really sad. Now if it has happened or not it is for people to investigate.”

Actress Shruti Seth hopes Tanushree’s moment of stepping out and naming and shaming “is the beginning of the end of sexual harassment in Bollywood”.

Nana Patekat, Metoo
#MeToo movement is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. #MeToo spread virally in October 2017. Flickr

“I hope more women find courage to call out their perpetrators. Bravo,” she added.

Tanushree hopes her story gives “girls a sense of confidence to come out with their story if they are suffering”.

“Back then, the mainstream media did not pursue the story as actively as it is happening in the present day. Now, it is the right time for all the victims to share their story,” Tanushree said.

Also Read: Bollywood Celebs Express Anger on Mandsaur Gang Rape

While a string of Bollywood celebrities, including filmmakers and actors have called out casting couch and sexual harassment in the industry, naming and shaming is yet to become a reality, even as Hollywood counterparts have remained outspoken ever since mass allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein came to light.

Comedian Bill Cosby has been sentenced upto 10 years in prison and has been branded a “sexually violent predator” by a US court for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. (IANS)

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World’s Anti-Corruption Day

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges "to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide."

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Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Corruption costs the world economy $2.6 trillion each year, according to the United Nations, which is marking International Anti-Corruption Day on Sunday.

“Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune,” the United Nations said.

The cost of $2.6 trillion represents more than 5 percent of global GDP.

The world body said that $1 trillion of the money stolen annually through corruption is in the form of bribes.

Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International, told VOA that about a quarter of the world’s population has paid a bribe when trying to access a public service over the past year, according to data from the Global Corruption Barometer.

Moreira said it is important to have such a day as International Anti-Corruption Day because it provides “a really tremendous opportunity to focus attention precisely on the challenge that is posed by corruption around the world.”

Journalist, Anti-Corruption
An activist places candles and flowers on the Great Siege monument, after rebuilding a makeshift memorial to assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Valletta, Malta. VOA

Anti-corruption commitments

To mark the day, the United States called on all countries to implement their international anti-corruption commitments including through the U.N. Convention against Corruption.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. State Department said that corruption facilitates crime and terrorism, as well as undermines economic growth, the rule of law and democracy.

“Ultimately, it endangers our national security. That is why, as we look ahead to International Anticorruption Day on Dec. 9, we pledge to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide,” the statement said.

Moreira said that data about worldwide corruption can make the phenomena understandable but still not necessarily “close to our lives.” For that, we need to hear everyday stories about people impacted by corruption and understand that it “is about our daily lives,” she added.

She said those most impacted by corruption are “the most vulnerable people — so it’s usually women, it’s usually poor people, the most marginalized people in the world.”

Anti-Corruption
Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The United Nations Development Program notes that in developing countries, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

What can be done to fight corruption?

The United Nations designated Dec. 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day in 2003, coinciding with the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by the U.N. General Assembly.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about corruption and put pressure on governments to take action against it.

Tackling the issue

Moreira said to fight corruption effectively it must be tackled from different angles. For example, she said that while it is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption, governments must also have mechanisms to enforce that legislation. She said those who engage in corruption must be held accountable.

“Fighting corruption is about providing people with a more sustainable world, with a world where social justice is something more of our reality than what it has been until today,” she said.

Anti-Corruption
It is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption

Moreira said change must come from a joint effort from governments, public institutions, the private sector and civil society.

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges “to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide.”

It noted that the United States, through the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, helps partner nations “build transparent, accountable institutions and strengthen criminal justice systems that hold the corrupt accountable.”

Also Read: British Parliament Access Internal Facebook Data Scandal Papers: Report

Moreira said that it is important for the world to see that there are results to the fight against corruption.

“Then we are showing the world with specific examples that we can fight against corruption, [that] yes there are results. And if we work together, then it is something not just that we would wish for, but actually something that can be translated into specific results and changes to the world,” she said. (VOA)