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  Entertainment   Bollywood  15 Jan 2019  Industry largely silent on allegations against Rajkumar Hirani

Industry largely silent on allegations against Rajkumar Hirani

THE ASIAN AGE. | SUBHASH K JHA
Published : Jan 15, 2019, 12:05 am IST
Updated : Jan 15, 2019, 12:05 am IST

Sanju director has been accused of sexually assaulting an assistant on the sets of the film.

Raj Kumar Hirani
 Raj Kumar Hirani

Has the MeToo movement finally claimed a hotshot in the entertainment industry? Calling out Raj Kumar Hirani is a radical step-up in the naming and shaming endeavour.

The successful creator of the Munnabhai series has silenced all his fans and friends in the film industry, all of whom are understandably loath to comment.

 

One of the rare voices that spoke upon being contacted was that of writer Apurva Asrani. He said, “I choose to believe the young lady as it takes much courage to speak up against such a powerful filmmaker and then risk being boycotted by the film industry. I think the producers did the right thing by removing Mr Hirani’s name from the Ek Ladki KO Dekha Toh Aisa Laga posters and promos. This is something the Phantom producers had failed to do after allegations against Vikas Behl came to light.”

Dia Mirza who is a close friend of Hirani reacts with stupefied confusion. “I am deeply distressed by this news. As someone who has known and respects Raju Sir for 15 years, I can only hope that a due official inquiry is conducted. He is one of the most decent human beings I have ever worked with and I think it would be grossly unjust on my part to speak on this as I do not know the details.”

 

Adds filmmaker Hansal Mehta, “It is disturbing. I hope the truth prevails and due process is followed to ensure a quick and just resolution.”

Writer-director Vinta Nanda who has named Alok Nath as her alleged rapist is extremely vocal on the allegations against  Rajkumar Hirani. She takes potshots at  Hirani’s  2018  blockbuster Sanju, the Sanjay Dutt biopic which portrays Sanjay Dutt as a benign philanderer. “When you create a film that glorifies a person who is brazen about being laid by as many women as whose names begin from the letters A to Z, there is every possibility that your motivations too can go wrong.”

Speaking on the deathly silence in the film industry Vinta comments, “The industry is frightened. There are skeletons in many cupboards out here and there’s no land left for them to be buried. Everyone is speechless and they don’t know what to say. They don’t know who they should protect, the predators who are their dear friends or the survivors who need their support.”

 

Vinta sees this as a moment of reckoning for the Indian entertainment industry. “This is a huge calling for the industry. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee and do what is right because you can’t veil the truth any longer. It’s also a moment in which the industry needs to introspect. It’s time for the industry to use this opportunity to become professional across the board. I would be bold enough to add that we should protect all survivors and help them heal but we should forgive all predators and perpetrators who harassed, assaulted and violated them before the #MeToo movement happened. From here onwards we should be strict, unforgiving and punishing to anybody who dares to misbehave.”

 

Tags: raj kumar hirani, sexually assaulting