Actress Tanushree Dutta is currently in news for accusing veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of a film in 2008.
Tanushree's serious allegations have initiated several debates on social media with a lot of people supporting the actress, some standing with Nana, others expressing doubts on the validity of the charges, and a few refusing to take sides.
While a host of Bollywood celebrities tweeted in support of Tanushree, a few other big stars chose not to comment on the issue saying that they were not fully aware of the incident.
Nonetheless, there are many others on social media who are sceptical about the allegations or want to contain their opinion before the charges are actually proved. The virtual world got divided into three opinions - one who completely believe and support Tanushree, second who are doubtful and wanting to wait for a thorough probe, and third who believe a person like Nana cannot commit such a crime.
Who is supporting Tanushree and on what grounds
A number of Bollywood stars and social activists, who believe it is high time a movement like #MeToo should start in India, have extended support for the actress. Celebs like Sonam Kapoor, Richa Chadha, Farhan Akhtar, Twinkle Khanna, Swara Bhasker, Anurag Kashyap among others expressed their belief in Tanushree.
They have opined that when a girl managed to muster the courage to talk about an issue like sexual harassment, she should be heard and encouraged. Their belief got firmer when a journalist, Janice Sequeira claimed to be an eyewitness of the incident and approved Tanushree's claims.
Most of her supporters are of the view that such incidents do happen, and when someone dares to speak about it, her intentions should not be questioned.
Tanushree Dutta's story should horrify all of us, esp. the so-called woke inhabitants of Bollywood. Your silence makes you complicit in emboldening sleazeballs like Nana Patekar who continue the cycle of assault unabated. Your silence is telling of your collective dehumanization.— Ankur Pathak (@aktalkies) September 26, 2018
We all know there are hundreds and thousands of women who are too afraid to speak out against sexual assault and misconduct, lest they be called "unprofessional". They will only speak up if we appreciate - even laud - the courage of #TanushreeDutta, and not look the other way.— Janice Sequeira (@janiceseq85) September 26, 2018
Surprisingly, no one is talking about Nana Patekar misbehaving with Tanushree Dutta on the sets of Horn Ok Please. The woman has broken her silence after a decade of suffering.— Aparna (@FuschiaScribe) September 25, 2018
If a women speaks out about abuse, you listen. Even if it's on her deathbed 50 years after the incident,you listen. If you ask why she didn't speak earlier or you rush to dismiss her, the problem is with you. There will be investigation; but first, listen. Period. #TanushreeDutta— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) September 28, 2018
Please read this thread before judging or shaming #TanushreeDutta a working environment without harassment and intimidation is a fundamental right and by speaking up this brave woman helps pave the way towards that very goal for all of us! https://t.co/f8Nj9YWRvE— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) September 28, 2018
It hurts to be #TanushreeDutta rn. To be alone, questioned. No woman wants publicity that opens the floodgates of trolling and insensitivity.What happened to her on set was intimidation.Her only fault was she didn’t back down-takes a special courage to be #TanushreeDutta.— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) September 27, 2018
Who are sceptical and why
A section of social media users are doubtful about the entire episode. While a few of them do not want to jump the gun before a proper investigation is carried, and the truth is out, some others are sceptical about Tanushree's intentions.
The fact that the actress, who has been away from India and the industry for a long time, suddenly came here and raised a decade-old alleged incident, made many doubt her intentions. They also expressed doubts at the Bollywood stars' encouragement, saying that they might not have openly supported her if the accused was a superstar and not Nana Patekar.
Some do not want to support the ongoing media trial and refuse to take sides before the matter sees a legal conclusion. Also, some incidents from the recent past, wherein similar charges of molestation and sexual harassment had apparently fallen flat made some more cautious. Zaira Wasim had recently accused a flight co-passenger of molesting her, followed by the man was arrested, but was later released on bail. An eye-witness present on the flight had said that the man did not do anything like that with the young actress.
Another similar case happened when a Delhi college girl, Jasleen Kaur had accused a man named Sarvjeet Singh of harassing her on street. The man was instantly called guilty due to the extensive media trial, but later the case reportedly turned out to be a false one.
Dear DMers, IF Tanushree Dutta is speaking the truth, then I stand by her but I've burnt my fingers with Zaira Wasim case, so will wait and watch.— Gita S. Kapoor (@GitaSKapoor) September 30, 2018
Tanushree Dutt allegations may look genuine tbh but incidents like Jasleen Kaur and Zaira Wasim has taught us to be patient and wait for fair trial before jumping the Gun.— Arvind Gaitonde (@Mastergogo4) September 30, 2018
Making allegations is like ordering pizza these days, you don't need any proofs. Nana Patekar is a veteran actor and a gentleman, Tanushree Dutta allegations shouldn't be taken at face value. Zaira Wasim lied, Jasleen Kaur lied, Rohtak Sisters lied too.— Deeptanshu Shukla (@deeptanshukla) September 26, 2018
My all empathy is with Tanushree, may she gets Victory "If" she is true in her claims— chandan Yadav (@Chan_since94) September 29, 2018
My worry is genuine like what happened in Jasleen Kaur case, people outraged merely on girl's allegations without hearing the other side and look where is that poor guy standing now? https://t.co/al5cQTVdLd
Who believes Nana and why
Nana is one of the veteran actors in the industry and is well regarded for his acting skills and social service. Many are not ready to believe that he can commit a crime like this. They opined that Tanushree decided to dig out a 10-year-old alleged incident only to get some publicity. They also feel that if the allegations were true, she would have filed a case against Nana, instead of just holding press conferences and interviews to media.
I refuse to believe this horseshit. That man is the most simple, noble and respectful person anyone will ever see. A rare gem. Look elsewhere for gaining mileage and publicity #TanushreeDutta. How about some hard work instead of resorting to such cheap tactics?!? #Baseless— Herr Omkar Kulkarni (@om2kool) September 26, 2018
1 accusation by woman & his entire reputation is on toss.— Jatin (@YoursJatin) September 30, 2018
No bollywood ?have spine to stand with this man.
For them women's words are gospel truth. #Misandry
For me, #NanaPatekar is Innocent until proven guilty. May god give him strength to fight against false accusations.
#NanaPatekar Sir you are a legend and we completely beleive you on this..It has become a fashion these days for actresses to blame great innocent people for fame..#TanushreeDatta its such a shame on your part to gain fame in this way..If it happened 10-15yrs ago y not speak then?— Jaideep Rathor (@jadyrathore) September 29, 2018
Reasons why Nana Patekar cannot be a sexual harasser:— Od (@odshek) September 28, 2018
1) Legendary actor
2) Lives with his mom in small 1 bhk flat
3) Has donated many crores to farmers
4) Has great comic timing..watch Welcome
Think about it..how would a man who respekts his mom ever sexually harass a woman? pic.twitter.com/i6KHHJUTkF
I just remembered I was also molested by #NanaPatekar 20 yrs ago. Oops wait, I was in school 20 yrs ago. Never mind nobody will use logic or analyse anything. Facts b damned. Media just needs a story! Feminists just need something new to yap about.— Bhairavi Goswami (@bhairavigoswami) September 26, 2018