- "Is this a joke?" Swara Bhasker tweeted on Thursday
- Swara Bhasker was referring to MNS' threat to Bigg Boss makers
- She is one of the first celebrities to publicly support Tanushree Dutta
"Is this a joke?" read a tweet from Swara Bhasker on Thursday, "Who takes pictures with goons that threaten vandalism?" The actress, one of the first celebrities to publicly support Tanushree Dutta who renewed a decade-old allegation of harassment against Nana Patekar over a week ago, was referring to a picture of members of the youth wing of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena or MNS handing over a letter to the makers of reality show Bigg Boss, the 12th season of which is currently airing.
The occasion hardly merited the photo-op - the letter contained a threat to violently disrupt proceedings in the Bigg Boss house in Lonavla, the setting for the reality show, were Tanushree Dutta let in. There has been speculation recently that Ms Dutta would participate in the show, hosted on weekends by Salman Khan. MNS is at the epicentre of Ms Dutta's accusations, which claim that Mr Patekar sent thugs from the political outfit after Ms Dutta when she rejected his alleged advances on a film set in 2008.
Swara Bhasker, known for her fiery outspokenness on social media, is outraged, for one.
IS THIS A JOKE?????? Or are we now just okay with institutionalised hooliganism?????? And who takes pictures with the goons that threaten vandalism????? WHAT IS WRONG WITH US GUYS??!???? https://t.co/dL8gZvlYAR— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) October 4, 2018
Tanushree Dutta was rumoured to be a possible Bigg Boss contestant this season even before she named Nana Patekar, who has sent her a legal notice demanding she apologise. Bigg Boss alumnus Rakhi Sawant, who replaced Ms Dutta in the song during the filming of which she was allegedly harassed, has defended Mr Patekar and accused Ms Dutta of seeking publicity and a spot in the Bigg Boss 12 line-up.
Tanushree Dutta has also received a legal notice from filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri who, she claims, asked her to strip on the sets of 2005 film Chocolate. She described the legal notices as "the price for speaking out against harassment." Mr Agnihotri has tangled with Swara Bhasker in the past - in September, Ms Bhasker called out Vivek Agnihotri for posting offensive tweets about her and his account was temporarily suspended.
Tanushree Dutta first accused Nana Patekar of harassment 10 years ago and received an apology this week from the film body she complained to, acknowledging that she had been ignored. Two women who say they were on set the day Ms Dutta was harassed have backed much of what she has said. Mr Patekar's defenders include Maharashtra Home Minister Deepak Kesarkar and choreographer Ganesh Acharya.
Over the weekend, Tanushree Dutta thanked Mumbai Police for ensuring her personal safety following renewed threats from MNS after she spoke out against Mr Patekar again. Ms Dutta has alleged that after she declined Nana Patekar's unwelcome advances on the sets of the 2008 film, MNS thugs attacked her vanity van and later her car with her parents inside it. An old video of the actress' car being vandalised went crazy viral soon after. On Wednesday, home minister Deepak Kesarkar told ANI that the protection given to Ms Dutta is not against Nana Patekar, who he referred to as "an actor and very well-known social worker."
Tanushree Dutta, who said that MNS continues to try and intimidate her with fresh threats, recently told NDTV: "It's a pathetic party by itself... It's easy to take an honest individual who is trying to earn a living and overpower them with muscle power and then call yourself powerful and strong."
"Violent threats are being issued against me by the MNS. Today, while I was at home and the police personnel posted outside my home were on a lunch break two unnamed suspicious individuals tried getting into our home uninvited but were stopped just in time by security personnel. I'm being threatened to be dragged to the court and legal system of India as we all know can keep a woman and her supporters as well as media silent on the pretext of 'matter sub judice'," Ms Dutta said today, reported ANI.
Last week, Swara Bhasker and celebs such as Twinkle Khanna, Richa Chadha, Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar and others tweeted 'I believe Tanushree Dutta' as the controversy began to snowball.
Swara Bhasker, best known for films such as Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, was last seen in this year's wedding drama Veere Di Wedding.
Follow NDTV for latest election news and live coverage of assembly elections 2019 in Maharashtra and Haryana.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.