Before the MeToo movement even came into existence, there were numerous questionable incidents in Bollywood, arising out of sexism. Sometimes these were grave and sometimes considered completely insignificant.
Gauhar Khan faced a terrible incident when she was shooting for a TV show. A man slapped her, justifying his action by saying that she shouldn't have been wearing a short dress. The actress went through heavy public scrutiny even after her personal space was violated.
Gauhar Khan attacked because of her dress
Bollywood celebrities are often always under the scanner. While they receive a lot of love, at times they face a lot of hatred over their choices. For women, this is even more so, since time immemorial. Viewers can even turn violent in certain situations crossing all boundaries, with their skewed moral compasses.
Gauhar Khan was a victim of one such attempt, in 2014. The actress was shooting for a TV show in FilmCity, Mumbai. A man named Mohammad Akil Malik had attended as an audience member. Gauhar was the host and at one point the 24-year-old man got onto the stage and tried to touch her. When she resisted, he slapped her asking her how she could be dressed like that and being a Muslim how could she be dancing.
Thankfully some audience members and the security personnel rushed to Khan's aid, pinning down the culprit. He was later handed over to the Police and was charged for molestation and assault. The event was deeply scarring for Gauhar Khan, undoubtedly. It also became a highly-debated issue. The violation of the actress was suddenly a public spectacle and it became a question whether Gauhar was slapped as part of a publicity stunt on the show. The actress was outraged over these claims.
The news even made international headlines, drawing all eyes onto India's patriarchy and much-debated rape culture. In 2018, many more shocking incidents came to the forefront revealing the dirty laundry within Bollywood, snowballing into the MeToo movement. It's safe to say India will and should never quite recover from the blow of the movement when it held a mirror to our society.