Rajkumar Hirani at IFFM
Rajkumar Hirani at IFFMPR Handout

The allegations of sexual assault against director Rajkumar Hirani has come as a shocker to Bollywood. Speaking to Pinkvilla, Sanju actress Dia Mirza said, "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 enquiry 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."

3 Idiots actor Sharman Joshi, also reacted on the issue and took to Twitter to express his opinion. He called Hirani "a man of immense integrity, character and honour' and also started the hashtag #IStandForRajuHirani.

In an article by HuffPost India, the lady affirmed that Hirani explicitly manhandled her more than once among March and September 2018. She wrote the details in an email dated November 3, 2018, to Hirani's continuous teammate and Sanju co-maker Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Film commentator and Vidhu's significant other Anupama Chopra has affirmed that the lady had imparted a record to her and that Vinod Chopra Films (VCF) has since set up a board of trustees to address grumblings of inappropriate behaviour.

The filmmaker released an official statement and said, "I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months back. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or any legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false malicious and mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation."

In my personal opinion, a woman is innocent until proven guilty. While a man is guilty until proven innocent. Why is the "accused" assumed guilty? Let the trial begin, enquiry happen, proof be verified -- and probably then, come to a conclusion. What if the woman is lying? What if Hirani is wrong too? Why give out your judgement until the concerned body gives the verdict? I believe a woman or a man, punishment for either - sexually harassing or cooking up lies should be given.

The #MeToo movement has taken the Bollywood by the storm. It all began with Tanushree Dutta accusing Nana Patekar of assaulting her during the shoot of Horn Ok Plssss... Later names like Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Vikas Bahl, Rajat Kapoor, Anu Malik, Kailash Kher, Vivek Agnihotri and others cropped up in the movement.