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Published On: Tue, Apr 24th, 2018

Parliament also not immune to casting couch :Renuka Chowdhary

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renuka-new_1518350134NEW DELHI : Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary has said that the “casting couch” is the grim reality “not just in the film industry but everywhere”, even parliament. The former parliamentarian was responding to Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan’s shocker appearing to justify the casting couch – the exchange of sexual favours for work.
“It is not just in the film industry. It happens everywhere and it is the bitter truth. Don’t imagine that Parliament is immune or other workplaces are immune to it. It is time that India stood up and said #MeToo,” Chowdhary said.
Earlier in the day, veteran choreographer Saroj Khan defended the practice of casting couch in the film industry. The 69-year-old, who has choreographed more than 2000 songs in her career, further said the ‘tradition’ has been going on for centuries and blaming just Bollywood is unfair.
“This is going on from ‘Baba Adam’s times’, it is not new. Someone or the other always try to take an advantage of a girl. The government officials do it too, then why are we only behind the film industry? It provides livelihood at least,” she said.
Saroj Khan, the choreographer to generations of leading ladies, stunned everyone at a press conference in Mumbai today with her comment describing sexual demands in exchange for work as “age-old”.
“Tum film industry ke peeche kyun pade ho? Woh kam se kam roti toh deti hai. Rape karke chhod toh nahi deti. (Why are you targeting the film industry? At least, it gives you work and doesn’t abandon you),” she said. After outrage, she has apologised.

“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 are talented, why would you sell yourself? Don’t blame the film industry’s name, it is everything to us, she added.”
Further putting her view forward, she said as to why would anyone want to sell herself if she is confident about her talent.seyn9Xeadeeca

“Me Too” campaigns were launched after the staggering Harvey Weinstein scandal in which many Hollywood actors and other artistes described the horror of the casting couch in the entertainment industry. The campaigns urged more to come forward and share their stories.
Ms Chowdhary, an outspoken politician, recently raised eyebrows with her comments on rape, borrowing from one of the most iconic dialogues of the Hindi film classic “Sholay”.
“This has been happening since time immemorial. Anyone and everyone tries to get cozy with every girl. Even people in the government do it. Why are you after the film industry? At least the industry provides employment. It is not as if you are raped and abandoned,” she said.
Khan added that the onus of staying safe and avoiding such situations was on women and pressed the media not to target the film industry. “It’s upon the girl – what does she want to do? If you don’t want to be caught, you won’t. When you are an artist, why will you sell yourself? Don’t say anything about the film industry. It’s like our mother-father,” she said.
Last year, Hollywood spoke out against sexual misconduct after disclosures about media mogul Harvey Weinstein. The incident had a domino effect, with many questions being raised about sexual harassment and abuse at the workplace, particularly the entertainment industry.(With Agency Inputs ).

 

 

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