Well-known actress Kritika Kamra has always been vocal about various issues. And following the same trend, she has spoken her heart out on TV producer Vinta Nanda’s Facebook rape allegation against veteran actor, Alok Nath (though Vinta has not specifically named him, she has left enough hints to suggest the same).
Says the actress, “Being a social media addict, I have been following this entire desi #MeToo movement (Tanushree Dutta, Rajat Kapoor) very carefully, as it affects me as a woman. I lost interest in an event that I had attended a couple of days back when another similar story had broken out, although it did not involve me personally. This just goes to show the power of this awakening that everybody is joining in, including lay people.”
“Coming to the Vinta Nanda matter, I read her entire Facebook post very carefully, and was shocked. Now I don’t know whom to trust anymore,” she adds.
“It is very wrong on the part of those who question why now, for the very simple reason that, today, this new movement is encouraging other women to speak out. It is not easy to admit abuse, given the career costs and ensuing slut shaming. Such incidents leave an indelible mark on the victim, like it does on kids who suffer childhood abuse. You may feel fine for some years, but eventually, the horror of the past does crop up, seeking catharsis,” Kritika exclaims.
“And here, Vinta admitted her guilt of not speaking up. Just spare a thought for her mental condition to keep all this locked inside her for years. It can’t be a good place to be,” she states.
Looking ahead, Kritika, who has just done a film, Mitron, says, “While we don’t know how, if the case goes legal, the entire truth will come out in the court of law. Right now, we just need to listen to the victim and offer support. It is heart-warming to see several celebs speak in favour of victims, e.g. Hrithik Roshan in the Vikas Bhalla matter.”
When asked about the casting couch in TV, Kritika says, “At first, I would think it does not exist, but it does. This is made even more possible by the unorganized nature of TV casting– there are so many casting coordinators around, and some of them are creeps. Also, many respected people also turn out to be the same, as we have seen in recent days.”
“Despite being lucky not to have to go through the rigour of audition, having been selected in Delhi (Kitni Mohabat Hai fame), I too have been prepositioned twice or thrice, but they are not direct. Rather, the offer to sleep for work is couched in several discreet ways. I have left those meetings hurt, for you end up questioning whether your dressing or behaviour gave indication that you’re that type of woman.”
“I have heard real horror stories from friends; and the victims are not just girls. Sexual harassment is not gender specific. We are against exploitation per se. Sadly, those who are in a position of power tend to misuse it; and this happens not just in our industry, but in other sectors as well.”
“Having said that, let me also add that I am no one to judge if two people willingly do something. The problem happens when the lines of consent are blurred. People need to get it that no means no, period. It is wrong to take anything as yes.”
In closing, when asked about her personal interactions with Alok Nath, with whom she has worked in Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, she says, “I have never had any such personal experience.”