Mahika Sharma
Mahika Sharma slams Saroj Khan for casting couch comment.PR Handout

TV actress and Miss Teen Northeast Mahika Sharma has slammed Saroj Khan for her recent comment on casting couch in the film industry. Mahika said that she has lost respect for the veteran choreographer as she has "polluted image of every girl associated with the industry."

Mahika said that casting couch could have been an acceptable practice during Saroj's young age, but now, the actresses live with dignity, and she stands against the practice.

"Time has changed. During the time of Saroj, girls had to struggle a lot. They might have accepted casting couch to earn their bread and butter then. Maybe she had made her way in similar manner. But after her remark, I have lost respect for her. She has polluted the image of ever girl associated with the industry. We work hard to earn our bread and butter. We are not slaves here. We live with our dignity and earn from our talent. I always stand against casting couch," she said in a statement.

However, Mahika accepted that the practice of casting couch is prevalent in the industry.

"This is not something only we girls face. Today, even boys at times need to face such situations. That's too weird for them but yes, they need to sell their dignity to a man to land in a big budget movie. This is something only we, who don't have celeb background, face to make place in the film industry," Mahika added.

Earlier, Saroj had defended the practice of casting couch saying that it happens with the consent of the girl, and it provides livelihood to them.

"This has been going on since baba Adam's era, it's not new. Everyone tries to take advantage of girls. Even people in the government do. Why are you after the film industry alone? At least it provides livelihood. Doesn't rape and dump the girl. It depends on what the girl wants. If she doesn't want to fall into the hands of such people, she won't fall. Why would you sell yourself if you have art in you? Don't take film industry's name, it's our everything," Saroj had said during a press conference.