"We are all complicit in the silence," she said in an interview after writing a blog on the subject. Aware that critics will accuse her of timing her public comments just before the release of her new film, Fukrey Returns, Richa Chadha said it is unfair to judge actresses for keeping quiet, because speaking up would mean not getting any other work.
"Let's ask Quentin Tarantino why he didn't raise it earlier," she said, referring to the famous filmmaker's recent confession that he continued to work with powerful Hollywood moghul Harvey Weinstein despite various women, including his girlfriend, telling him about Weinstein harassing them. Harvey Weinstein has been accused of decades of sexual harassment of women who worked with him.
Richa Chadha said she wouldn't describe a specific incident that she has faced in Bollywood, but shared how young and struggling artistes deal with constant harassment from those in positions of power. "Word gets around and so people start warning each other of who to avoid. I guess women do have safety devices," the 30-year-old actor said, adding that the real problem was victim shaming.
She suggested shaming the oppressor. "Serial predators will not stop until they are discovered. That's what needs to happen." She said people must be able to come forward with dignity and share their problems. "We have to create an atmosphere where they can speak without being judged or humiliated."
Richa Chadha concurs. Harassment, she said, is "like the air we breathe." Everywhere. But she also believes things are a lot better in her industry than before. "Senior actresses have told us you girls are not going through half the things that we had to face in the 50s and 60s."
Is it easier for people who belong to families embedded in the industry? "I wouldn't know, I've always been on the fringe,'' said Ms Chadha.