Dear Kangana, it's not about you and Hrithik anymore. It's about Bollywood and patriarchy

Piya Hingorani
Piya HingoraniOct 09, 2018 | 13:05

Dear Kangana, it's not about you and Hrithik anymore. It's about Bollywood and patriarchy

It’s not about what he said and then what she said. It's about the larger picture.

The entertainment industry is a big ‘boys’ club’, at least that's what Bollywood, Phantom Films and AIB has taught us! 

Despite having received complaints against Vikas Bahl and Utsav Chakraborty, the members of their respective teams took no cognisance of the harassment faced by the said women.

Bollywood stars (most of them), on the other hand, are treading on thin ice, while blatantly avoiding taking names of Tanushree Dutta or Nana Patekar. They have addressed the #MeToo movement, but without sparing a word on the alleged issue closer home. 


As Preity Zinta rightly told my colleague Sushant Mehta at the India Today East Conclave 2018, "If celebrities have nothing to say about the Tanushree case, then don't say anything at all."


However, when it comes to the Vikas Bahl case, Kangana Rananut lent support to the girl who accused her Queen director of sexual harassment. 

In a statement she said, “He (Bahl) bragged about having casual sex with a new partner every other day. I don't judge people and their marriages, but you can tell when addiction becomes a sickness.”

While we cannot take away the atrocities faced by the survivor, we couldn't help but notice, the timing of the statement.

Vikas Bahl was called out for his sexual misconduct in April 2017; his shenanigans were splashed across gossips columns, tabloids; but it was quick to fade into oblivion. Public memory is short. 

Why didn't Kangana raise her voice then? 

It's bad enough that after this incident went public and made headlines in April 2017, Vikas Bahl shared stage with Vikram Aditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena at the announcement of their film 83.

The boys' club that Bollywood is. Even after being exposed in the media, Vikas Bahl had his 'bro gang' to stand by him. (Photo: India Today)


In September 2017, along with Ranveer Singh (who will be seen playing Kapil Dev in the film on India's first Cricket World Cup win), and director Kabir Khan, Vikas Bahl was seen in a group picture, enjoying the champagne being popped with the entire crew. 

Kangana further revealed that “every time we met, socially greeted and hugged each other, he (Vikas) would bury his face in my neck, hold me really tight and breathe in the smell of my hair. It took me a great amount of strength and effort to pull myself out of his embrace. He’d say ‘I love how you smell K’. I could tell something is wrong with him.”

So, why did you not address the issue in 2017, when the incident came to light?

Your film released in September, but you chose to speak about Hrithik Roshan.  

You have always called a spade, a spade. Why did you wait so long to expose Vikas Bahl? (Photo: Via India Today)

I have always been a big fan of Kangana, her work and the fact that she not only made it on her own, without a so-called godfather in the industry, but she has had the courage to call a spade, a spade!


When actresses are generally scared to lose out on plump film offers, if they rat out the industry boys, Kangana never holds back when she speaks about her tryst with Hrithik Roshan, feminism, wage disparity in B’town or the casting couch. Hell, she even sparked the nepotism debate, which is so rampant in Bollywood, yet a topic that the leading filmmakers don't acknowledge. 

However, this time, it doesn't come as a surprise that she wished to give her opinion about the Bahl issue, when Bahl’s next film is with her good friend-turned-foe Hrithik Roshan. 

What's more: Hrithik's film Super 30 will release alongside Kangana's Manikarnika: The Queen on Jhansi, on January 25, 2019. 

At this point, it is important that Kangana realises it's not about her personal vendetta, but as a society, we need to see the bigger picture!

Then there is Sonam Kapoor. On being asked about Kangana’s allegations, she said, “I think Kangana wrote something. Kangana is obviously Kangana Ranaut. She says a lot of stuff and sometimes it is hard to take her seriously. I love the fact that she has spunk and she says what she believes. I really respect her for that." 

This statement did not go down well with the Tanu Weds Manu star. Despite being labelled an opportunist, even on social media, Kangana lashed out at Sonam, and it hit too close home.

Kangana retorted, "I am not known because of my dad. I have earned my place and credibility after struggling for a decade. She isn’t known to be a great actress, neither she has the reputation of being a good speaker. What gives these filmy people right to take digs at me!”

Sonam said she was misquoted earlier.

Now, let's come to the real issues.

Should Bahl be taken to task? Yes. Definitely.

Should the industry finally wake up to the #MeToo movement? Yes, that is the need of the hour. 

But why make it personal? There is a bigger fight — women need to feel at ease at their workplace. 

It’s not about what he-said-she-said. It's about the larger picture.

It’s time we realised that.

Last updated: October 12, 2018 | 12:46
Please log in
I agree with DailyO's privacy policy