2018 was a remarkable year indeed. Keeping aside all the fairytale weddings that we got to witness and the blossoming of eternal love that culminated in holy matrimony for our favourite celebrities, what the year will be best remembered for will be the #MeToo movement that it started in India. Thanks to Tanushree Dutta who came back from US to accuse veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassment and intimidation that he meted out to her ten years ago and started the movement that gave voice to several women across the country in different fields of work to name, shame and blame their harassers and perpetrators, the movement resonated with one and all. Finally, culprits in Bollywood were ousted from plump projects and were made to answer for their heinous behaviours and sexual misconduct. Our leading actors like Ajay Devgn, Aamir Khan, Farhan Akhtar came out in support and so did our Bollywood actresses like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Richa Chadha, Sonam Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna and others.
From Vinta Nanda to Chitrangda Singh, Sandhya Mridul, Saloni Chopra and several other actresses came forth to share their own experiences of abuse and harassment in the wake of #MeToo movement. However, there were still some naysayers who put the blame and the responsibility on the victim and received flak, criticism and brickbats for it. Preity Zinta learned the hard way when she kind of mocked the movement with a joke and now Rani Mukerji is facing the brunt of the social media’s ire for her what-the-f**k comments about the movement on the actresses Roundtable 2018 moderated by Rajeev Masand. She was lambasted for being ‘ignorant’ and not letting other actresses speak at the roundtable too.
[caption id="attachment_191234" align="aligncenter" width="1097"] The Actress Roundtable[/caption]
During the Roundtable 2018, actresses including Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Alia Bhatt, Taapsee Pannu, Tabu and Rani discussed what must be addressed in the wake of the #MeToo movement. When asked what has changed fundamentally in the wake of the movement, Anushka noted that people have become more introspective. She said, “There should be a little sense of fear. Your work place has to be the second sacred place for you. After your home your work place is the place where you should feel the safest and if you're not feeling that way then that's the worst world to be living in.”
Rani for some unknown reason put the onus of responsibility on women and said, “I think as a woman you have to be that powerful within yourself, you have to believe that you're so powerful that if you ever come into a situation like that you have the courage to say 'back off.' I think you have to have the courage to be able to protect yourself." Deepika tried to contradict and said, “I don't think everyone is constructed with that sort of DNA."
However, there was no stopping Rani who continued in the same refrain and said that martial arts and self-defence should be made compulsory in schools and added, “you have to take the responsibility of your ownself." However, Deepika, Anushka and Alia tried to politely show her that she was talking nonsense and proved to be the sole voices of reason. Deepika said, “But why to even bring it to the point where girls should learn self-defence,” and Anushka also agreed to her point. However, Rani was not fazed and went on to say, “You can’t tell mothers how to bring up their children.” Rani’s comments did not go down too well with the netizens who went on to rip the actress apart for her being ignorant because of her privileged background. Check out the tweets below.
This Roundtable had more problems at the end of it than what it had at the beginning. However, one this is sure Rani was a total cringe-fest in this one, maybe those yellow-coloured glasses are to be blamed for obscuring reality.