Tanushree Dutta comes back to India to bring Nana Patekar down
With a vengeance! You must have been hearing about Bollywood‘s newest controversy these past few days. We have too and we have it been waiting for it all to unfold. As we have learnt in the past, the best way to report is to do so when all the details have come out. Tanushree Dutta went around these past few days detailing an incident that happened with her on the sets of ‘Horn Ok Pleassss’. She named Nana Patekar, as her harasser. Tanu originally brought out this issue years ago when it happened, which was 10 years ago in 2008. All she got in return was harassment and abuses.
While detailing what happened to her, Tanu also held these people responsible for allowing the harassment and her harasser to proceed with whatever dirty thing he had in his mind about her:
- Producer, Sami Siddiqui
- Director, Rakesh Sarang
- Choreographer Ganesh Acharya
This is the item song that Tanu was talking about:
An original news and interview of Tanushree regarding this issue back then in 2008:
Tanushree went on Zoom to detail thoroughly what happened to her and how it all started. This wasn’t a one-time incident, Nana started misbehaving with her two days before the day where all hell broke loose. She said that Nana put himself in that item number that only she was supposed to feature in. He also told the director that he wants to do an intimate step with her in that song. We are guessing he most likely wanted to rub against her or something, because that is usually what you see in songs. Grossly inappropriate, but it’s always the actors doing the rubbing.
Nana Patekar responds to Tanushree’s allegations
Do you know what an MCP looks like? This is what it looks like:
Actor Nana Patekar denies sexual harassment allegations by Actress Tanushree Dutta. pic.twitter.com/vqyTpSkBm4
— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) September 27, 2018
What can I do about it? You tell me. What does she mean by sexual harassment? There were 50-100 people on set with me [at that time]…I’ll take legal action against her. But it is waste telling media about it because you will play up anything. Whatever people want to say, they can say. But I will continue doing my work.
The film’s director, Rakesh Sarang, responds to Tanushree’s allegations
Tanushree is saying that Nathni Utaro [the title of the song] was a solo dance that she rehearsed for. In that case, she must have heard the song during the rehearsals itself. Why doesn’t she remember that the song had a male voice too? It was always supposed to be a duet song. He was shooting for a song after many years, so he was excited about it. She misjudged everything, including his encouragement. See, if your boss wants to flirt with you, he won’t do it in a public area; he will invite you to his cabin. There were around 400 people on the set that day. Will anybody take advantage in front of 400 people?
Ayoyo, how many people were there? One buddha said it was 50-100 while another is now saying 400. How can we trust their words if they can’t remember how many people there were on the sets? Most importantly, if Nana wanted to touch Tanu inappropriately, he could have very well done so without making it obvious. Women get molested all the time while performing pilgrimage and you know how many people are there during a pilgrimage procession? More than a thousand!
Journalists should ask both of these old men how did these goons land up on the sets? Why were the studio’s gate closed and locked? How did the police come to the studio? According to Tanu, her family called the police and they came and fired some bullets upwards to make the goons stop harassing Tanu and her family.
Tanushree Dutta’s full interview
Here’s a low-down on Tanushree’s statements:
The #MeToo happened in Hollywood a year or two back, but in India it happened several years ago. I was probably one of the first people in the history of this country in the media field to speak up and stand up. Everybody saw what happened but the memory and the popular perception of it is that Tanushree Dutta spoke up against harassment and then she was no more.
When Nana Patekar misbehaved with me, he said out loud that he would do an intimate step with me as well in the song, which wasn’t mentioned in my contract. It was supposed to be a solo sequence of mine.
So, Tanu already signed a contract that stated no intimate scenes or steps will be done. She does not make it clear whether it’s the film’s contract to her or her contract to the filmmaker.
I would feel very uncomfortable when he would come next to me and try to put his arm around me. He’d grab me and push me around and say, ‘You stand here, you stand there’. Whereas, he shouldn’t have been on the set. And he told the choreographer to stand aside and said, ‘I’ll teach her how to dance’. I didn’t know how to deal with this. This had never happened with me before in Bollywood.
Nana Patekar teaching a young girl how to dance?!!!! He must have woken up that day feeling like Hrithik Roshan!
When I had complained about the same to the producer and director, and told them to ask him (Nana Patekar) to stay away from me, they didn’t pay heed.
He called the MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) party to bash up my car. He was behind everything and was supported by Ganesh Acharya, the producer and director.
I got some 30-40 film offers after the controversy, but I was suffering from such major fear that I would not even want to go on a film set. Because when you go through such experience you think everybody is like that. You refuse to believe that I have worked with good people also.
Tanu took a long sabbatical after this. She made an appearance a few years ago with short hair. If she was as traumatised as she said, it must have really taken a toll on her. Usually in these cases, you only return when you feel safe mentally and physically.
Tanu on why she is talking about this issue again:
Till the time I’m given justice no movement can start over here. I will keep bringing up this issue every time I’m here because I want to expose the hypocrisy of Bollywood that on one hand you are speaking about women empowerment, but everybody had a stoic silence on what happened with me and they have maintained it even today. In fact, they are not only maintaining the stoic silence but they are also working with the perpetrators
In a video interview, Tanu mentioned how she had no intention to speak on this again. She was asked a question and she gave her answer. The media picked up on that and it spread. She said she has settled down in American and even got a green card. She does not care whether these Bollywood people will not work with her. She mentioned how she does not feel that she is missing out because she is at peace with herself on the inside. She prayed hard for justice. She reiriterates how she is saying all this so that the industry show some compassion and human values and do something so that the future generation won’t have to suffer. She said all this in a video interview to Quint.
Change cannot happen when we put the onus of change on others. Change can only happen when we are actively involved bringing about the change and that is what I have been doing and not because I wanted to be smarter and somebody who starts movements. It is just that I went through an ordeal and when I was approached for my take on it, I spoke the truth — 10 years back and even today.
To Quint, Tanu said:
Nana Patekar is a pawn in this entire scenario. Of course I want the industry to ban these people, just to set an example… But my fight is not just against Nana Patekar or Ganesh Acharya. They work bindaas like nothing has happened. I want them to suffer the consequences of course, but it’s not just about Nana Patekar and me. It’s about creating that awareness in our society that whenever a girl speaks up, people try to shut her up, make allegations against her character…. Why is it so difficult to hear it and respond to it?
I faced a lot of criticism, slut shaming and dense attitude… For 10 years I have been shamed and the narrative has been spun like ‘Oh there is a respectable actor and there is this slutty heroine who put these allegations on him and because she did this horrendous thing she was kicked out of the industry’. People have been arrogantly carrying forward this narrative.
So far only two people have spoken out about this, two witnesses. A senior and very much relevant journalist, Janice Sequeira, and the song’s choreographer, Ganesh Acharya.
Witnesses React to Tanushree Dutta’s Allegations
Janice tweeted in support of Tanushree and here’s what she had to say:
Janice’s Interview on what happened, courtesy of BuzzFeedNews:
I saw Ganesh Acharya say something to Tanushree, and then the crew attempted a few futile shots of shooting this dance sequence,” she said. “All this while, Nana Patekar had been standing on the side, then he entered the frame and started to do some very weird and vulgar dance moves with her. Barely 30 to 40 seconds later, Tanushree just walked off the film set.
There was screaming and shouting, people followed her to her vanity van where she had locked herself. They were screaming, banging on her door, shouting at her to come out, it was a mob. I asked one of them ‘Who’s called you here?’ They said, ‘the producer has, he wants his money back.
This was a professional — a woman hired for a job. Even if she couldn’t do the job, you can’t call a mob on set to threaten her right? You have to try and talk to her, accommodate her, and listen to what she feels is happening on the set.
They were banging on all sides of the car, they broke the windshield, the side mirror. I remember her parents looking worried and scared, imagine the paranoia, they obviously thought the crowd would attack their daughter.
I remember that she wasn’t able to change her clothes, she had been shooting an item number, so she wasn’t exactly dressed in clothes that covered her up. She’d spent the entire day at this shoot with men who humiliated her, and then, she had to go back home in that same state.
Some incidents that take place even a decade ago remain fresh in your memory. What happened with #TanushreeDutta on the sets of “Horn Ok Please” is one such incident – I was there.
Janice is not the only one speaking out, other female journalists who have spoken to Tanu at that time and recently, have corroborated what she said and believe her. I could see Tanushree on set, visibly upset about something. #NanaPatekar, choreographer Ganesh Acharya and a man (who I later found was the producer) were having a conversation, while 50-odd dancers sat waiting.
The official version was that the “heroine was not cooperating”. A while later, shooting resumed. Tanushree resumed work, and a couple shots later, #NanaPatekar joined her. Not long after that, Tanushree walked off set. Shooting halted again. She locked herself in her vanity van, refusing to come out. Out of nowhere, goons turned up and began banging against the vanity van door.
I was told the producers had called them to set. Cops arrived. Amidst this chaos, I got hold of #NanaPatekar. All he said was, “Meri beti jaisi hai” (she is like my daughter), which didn’t really make any sense at that point. Eventually, Tanushree’s parents arrived to pick her up. Her car was attacked, the windshield broken. I tried to get in touch with Tanushree to get her version of events. Around midnight, she asked me to come to her place. In tears, she narrated what really happened.
Later, she said, a lewd dance step was introduced on the insistence of #NanaPatekar, so he could touch her inappropriately. That’s where alarm bells rang, and Tanushree decided to walk off set. What she didn’t expect was the aggression shown by the producers after.
The chat I had with Dutta hours after the incident was identical to the account she’s come out with now. How could a person’s version remain the same a decade later if there wasn’t any truth to it?
[Our chat was off-the-record, even though she went on to give interviews later.]
Shyni’s interview to BuzzFeedNews:
As a woman, you can tell when another woman looks uncomfortable, I could tell Dutta was not okay,” Shetty told BuzzFeed News.
“I was only 22 at the time and it was the first film I was working on. It had barely been two years since I came to Bombay,” she added. “There was nothing I could do then, I was still becoming a person. But now, it’s important for us to stick together.”
Shyni Shetty, an AD on the sets of the film, responds to Tanushree’s allegations
Here is what Ganesh Acharya said:
First of all, it’s a very old incident so I can’t really recall everything very clearly. But it was a duet song as far as I remember. Something did happen that day because the shooting was also stalled for over three hours. There was some sort of misunderstanding. But I can confirm that nothing this sort of happened. It’s a wrong statement that Nana ji called members of some political party on set. It never happened.
Listen, Ganesh bapu. You just said earlier that it was a long time ago and you have ghajini so how come you are SO SURE that whatever Tanu said happened never happened?
Some more wise word from Daisy Shah’s ghajini sugar papa:
When I was called for rehearsal I was told that Nana ji was also there in the song. I don’t have the agreement with me because that time we used to do it verbally. But that particular song didn’t involve any kind of indecent step in the first place. It was pure dancing. That’s all.
He is basically saying that originally there was no indecent step. So what Tanu is saying is true because according to her, Nana said loudly that he wants an intimate step added to the song.
Let’s hear it one more time from Ganeshji about Nana:
He’s a very sweet person, he can never do that. He is very helpful and he has actually helped a lot of artistes in the industry, he can never do anything like that.
Do these people not understand that just because someone helps others doesn’t mean he is a saint. They are probably mistaking this behaviour with Jesus! Saying someone “can never do that” is irresponsible, especially if you were not there but in his case he was.
The media asked Tanu about Ganesh’s response:
He is a bloody liar and a two-faced person. He got the job because of me and he decided to back-stab me, of course he will support him (Nana Patekar) as he was equally complicit in the harassment
Bollywood Celebrities React to Tanushree’s allegations
Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan were asked about Tanushree’s allegations.
Richa Chaddha responds to Tanushree’s allegations
Swara Bhaskar responds to Tanushree’s allegations
Priyanka Chopra agrees with Farhan Akhtar
Twinkle Khanna aka Mrs. Funnybones responds to Tanushree’s allegations
Sonam Kapoor responds to Tanushree’s allegations
Anurag Kashyap responds to Tanushree’s allegations
Raveena Tandon responds to Tanushree’s allegations
Back then in 2008, Nana Patekar said this in response to Tanushree’s allegations:
Tanushree is my daughter’s age and I have no clues about what made her say such things about me. I have been a part of this film industry since the last 35 years and haven’t had anyone saying such things about me ever.
But Nanaji, to be fair, how will these women speak out if you keep sending your goons over to harass them? Heck, even back the media was scared to report the truth.
Also Nanaji, what do you have to say about this recent statement by Tanu:
Everyone knows about Nana Patekar that he has always been disrespectful towards women. People in the industry know about his in the background that he has beaten actresses, he has molested them, his behaviour with women has always been crude but no publication has printed anything about it.
Many many years ago, people used to gossip in hushed whispers how Nana used to beat the crap out of Manisha Koirala and Ayesha Jhulka. We always wondered how do these pretty women end up with him? He is someone with a dark aura surrounding him and he takes it out on the innocent ones or the ones unable to defned themselves. That’s being a coward!
Tanu puts the blame on Nana’s co-stars for working with him:
Akshay Kumar has made few films with Nana Patekar in last eight years and Rajinikanth also recently worked with him (in Kaala)… If such big stars will keep working with these culprits then there’s no hope for any movement to happen.
Question is, will you work with someone who is a known harasser, abuser or molester?
Tanu goes in to attack these so-called caring image that these stars have:
Everyone has gossiped about this but they’ve never spoken. People with this kind of character speak like this against the kind of character that I have because they say she does glamourous roles so must be glamorous and all. Behind the back, they are so dirty. When you are in the industry you hear so many stories about these actors. But these things never take surface because they are PR packaged very well. They will give some money to some poor farmers. How much they do and how much they don’t know, no one knows. But all this is just for show.
The entire industry saw what happened but there was not one word of condemnation from anybody. Every single person in this country remembers my incident and this was something on national TV for three days but even today there’s a stoic silence on that. So, my question is, ‘Who is going to believe these hypocrites?’ These are the people who stand up and raise their voice against women empowerment
Tanu said one thing that is very true:
Heroines ki roles ki casting hoti hai wo Actors karte hai, casting director sirf baaki ke side roles ki casting karta hai. Jo top lead ki Actress hoti hai, wo humesha Actor hi cast karta hai (Heroines are cast by the lead actors. Casting directors only cast the side actors. But the top lead actress is cast by the actor only.
She is saying that the casting of lead heroines in films are only done by actors. The casting director cast the side roles only. In that Zoom interview, she mentioned how a friend of hers told an incident where a discussion was going on about which actress to take in a particular film. The film’s actor said, “Deeti hai kya” in response to whoever was suggested. Deeti hai kya is a way to say, “Will she have sleep with me” or asking in a way whether this girl will easily give it or will she be difficult. This kind of shows that these actors literally share these things with one another. Meaning if one girl agrees to hop in bed with one actor, he will let others know and they will expect the same from her. Do you know the traumatising effect this will have on the girl? Especially when she is left with nothing after they have no use for her. She has to watch them get successul, paid and praised in public! If she says something, people call her crazy!
This brings us back to an incident years ago when someone mentioned the same thing about Kangana Ranaut. The men involved were Ajay Devgan, who passed her on to Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan. Now we don’t know how 100% true this is, but it is what we heard. This might explain the trauma caused by this kind of behavior to any girl involved, especially Kangu. After they realised what these guys did to them, doubt they can live peacefully after that. If you want to know who more is like this, just look at the patterns of lead heroines casting with male stars that are friends.
Hope Tanushree Dutta’s efforts go a long way. But will the actresses getting work in Bollywood talk about this situation? Will they stand up so that the upcoming girls will not be tortured the same way? Seriously though, as a human being, if you know something really bad is happening or has happened and you don’t say anything or you don’t support the victim, you are as complicit as the abuser or the harasser. Speaking of which, Tanu filed a police report and it was the police who came to save her and her family when all the chaos happened. She did file a complaint to the actors association in Mumbai also. Nothing happened and her FIR was dismissed.
Some people seemed to be really pissed off that Tanu is bringing back this issue only now.
Just see the mindset of these people! No one bothered to check her interviews to see the connection or to know what happened, that was their reasoning that she deserved whatever she got coming! Tanu had a good upbringing and she has supporting parents by her side. It explains why she feels so strong to stand against these men.
For those, who have no idea who Tanushree Dutta. She was in some of our favourite songs and she was in the ground-breaking soundtrack that changed Himesh Reshammiya’s life, ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’.
Who looks at these videos and think she deserved to be sexually harassed? Idiots with a special place in hell, that’s who!
Thank you for reading!