choreographer, Saroj Khan
has made a number of stars dance to her steps. With her hard work and dedication, she has made an image of a respectable teacher for herself but her recent comment on casting couch
has shaken everyone a little and has landed her in trouble.
While speaking to a TV channel on the subject of casting couch, she said that blaming the film industry alone for this is unfair and that at least the industry provides livelihood despite all the perils and doesn't just rape and leave them.
A comment like this is unexpected and derogatory, especially when it comes from a woman who has been in the industry for so long and has seen the dark side of it. Also, amidst the multiple rape cases that have come to light, it makes it even worse.
Here's her exact statement:“Ek baat bataun, ye to chala aa raha hai baba aadam ke zamane se, abhi se thode hi. Har ladki ke upar koi na koi hath saaf karne ki koshish karta hai. Government karti hai, government ke log karte hai to film industry ke piche kyun padhe ho? Wo to roti thodi deti hai, rape karke chhod to nahi deti hai. Wo mat bolo, wo ladki ke upar hai ke tum kya karna chahte ho. Tum uske hath me nahi aana chahte ho to nahi aaoge. Tumhare paas art hai to tum kyun apne aap ko bechoge. Film industry ka naam nahi lena, wo humara mayi-baap hai.” (Should I say something? This has been going on from 'Baba Adam's' times, it is not new. Someone or the other always try to take advantage of a girl. The government does it too, then why are we only blaming the film industry? It provides livelihood at least, does not rape and leave you. It is up to the girl, what she wants to do. If you don't want to fall into wrong hands, you won't. If you have art, why would you sell yourself? Don't take the film industry's name, it is everything to us.)
Recently, Hollywood tried to raise awareness about casting couch and sexual harassment cases in the industry with the Time's Up movement. The movement kickstarted after the Harvey Weinstein case came to light leading to many leading ladies in Hollywood opening up about their unpleasant experiences. Casting couch in Bollywood isn't new either but while many are trying to push the industry, and the country, towards a safer future, such comments from respected people serve as a setback.
Hollywood and many women opened up in form of #MeToo and #TimesUp in order to seek justice. The movement is now global with many Bollywood actors coming forward in its support.
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