- "It feels great that women are coming out," said Ms Sen
- "People should listen to their stories," she said
- "And not judge them," she added
Actress Sushmita Sen, a former beauty queen and a mother of two, recently addressed the #MeToo movement, which has shocked and stirred the Hindi film industry with the harrowing accounts of the survivors. Speaking to news agency IANS at a recent event, Ms Sen said that by hearing out the accounts of the survivors, more women should be 'encouraged' to speak out. 'Overlooking' the much-needed movement is not an option at all, she added. "Though the (#MeToo) movement is copied from the West, it doesn't mean we will overlook it. It feels great that women are coming out and speaking about the harassment. As a part of society, people should listen to their stories and not judge them," IANS quoted Ms Sen as saying.
"Instead of ignoring them, we should encourage them. This movement will work only if we start listening to the victims," added Sushmita Sen, whose words are an echo of Anil Kapoor's view on the several #MeToo accounts that have been shared recently. In a recent event, Mr Kapoor described the movement as 'fantastic' and said: "I have three women in my house and they're fiercely independent. I'm a listener and I think the world should also be a listener and listen to whatever they have to say. For me, girls are superior in every aspect and I have said that always. What is happening is fantastic," reported news agency IANS. Anil Kapoor and Sushmita Sen have worked together in films such as Biwi No 1, Bewafaa and No Problem.
Ahead of Sushmita Sen and Anil Kapoor's statements condemning sexual harassment, this is what Amitabh Bachchan said in an interview transcript he tweeted, "No woman should ever be subjected to any kind of misbehaviour or disorderly conduct, especially at her workplace."
The #MeToo movement caught up with Bollywood after actress Tanushree Dutta named and shamed veteran actor Nana Patekar as her alleged harasser, accusing him of sexual misconduct on the sets of a 2008 film. Mr Patekar in turn has denied the allegations and sent a legal notice to Ms Dutta, who has also filed complaints with the police and the women's commission. However, neither Ms Sen nor Anil Kapoor addressed Ms Dutta's allegations. Alok Nath, who co-starred with Sushmita Sen in 2000 film Aaghaaz, have also been named as an alleged harraser by three more women, after former TV show writer Vinta Nanda outed him her alleged rapist.
Alok Nath, who told ABP that he 'neither denies nor agrees with' Vinita Nanda's account of rape, is planning legal action against Ms Nanda. Other than Nana Patekar and Alok Nath, singer Kailash Kher, filmmaker Vikas Bahl and actor Rajat Kapoor have also been named as alleged sexual predators in separate #MeToo accounts.
Sushmita Sen is best known for films such as Main Hoon Na, Do Knot Disturb, No Problem and Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?, was last seen in Bengali film Nirbaak. Sushmita Sen is parents to two daughters - Alisah and Renee.
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(With IANS inputs)