Popular writer Chetan Bhagat while talking about Tanushree Dutta’s sexual harassment allegations, said it would be wrong to reduce her allegations against Nana Patekar to a ‘he said, she said’ story. Bhagat said it has become a broader issue and needs to be addressed for good now.
Last week Dutta spoke about facing harassment at the hands of Patekar during the shooting of 'Horn Ok Pleassss' back in 2008.
"A girl has felt offended and I think we should listen to her. It is for her to decide what actions she wants to take, what she wants -- apology, something more."
"I don't really know what actually happened there, sometimes it can be a misunderstanding and sometimes it can be a deliberate thing... but whatever, we should listen to her and not kind of question her," Bhagat told PTI.
Dutta's allegations are not new but there are people who have questioned her, saying 'Why did she choose to speak after ten years', which, according to Bhagat, is not justified.
"If somebody was wrong then, he is wrong today as well."
"She spoke it then also -- ten years back -- it is just that now we have social media and we didn't have it then. Now more people are talking about it and that time it was just one news item," he added.
Bhagat, however, stopped short of calling Dutta's story India's #MeToo movement. He said India still doesn't have the culture of women speaking out against such incidents.
"There's no girl that I have met, who has travelled by Indian trains in three-tier or two-tier and not been molested. Of course, the same is the case with metros and DTC buses here.
"The movement (#MeToo) which has taken the west by storm, has not come in India. Yes, it will come here. But as of now, the cases that we have got to hear so far are from Bollywood only -- famous people basically. However, I am sure similar things are happening in banks, media, ad agencies also," he said.
The 44-year-old author said people in India should understand the simple basic thing related to consent: "women will decide who will touch them and who would not".
Bhagat has come up with a new book, titled "The Girl in Room 105: An Unlove Story". Published by Westland, it is Bhagat's first attempt in thriller genre. Set in contemporary India, the book talks about obsessive love.