Alok Nath, known for his roles as a stereotypical Indian father, personifying religious traditions and moral values in films and TV shows has come under the fire of #MeToo campaign. Indian film and television’s very own ‘sanskari babuji’ Alok Nath has been accused of rape and repeated sexual violation. The 'sanskaari' actor, who allegedly raped writer and showrunner Vinta Nanda two decades ago, has been called out in public by the director.
Vinta Nanda's horrid experience has been described as 'terrifying' and 'heart-wrenching' on Twitter, with users calling for Alok Nath to be prosecuted. Vinita Nanda’s four shows, which were all doing well on TV at the time, were unceremoniously pulled off air after Nath’s sacking.
Looking back to the horrifying incident, Nanda narrates, “We were called by the newly appointed CEO of the channel on the Monday of the following week and told to shut down the show, along with all our other shows. I was insulted and humiliated by the CEO, asked to get out of his office and told that women like me should be thrown out of the country. All our shows went off air with immediate effect and my production company was made to shut down.”
Nanda says the night she was raped, she had gone to a party at Nath’s house, which was also attended by several of their common friends. “I was invited to a party to this man’s house, his wife, my best friend was out of town. It was usual for our group of friends from theatre to meet regularly so there was nothing unusual about my going to the party. As the evening flowed, my drinks were mixed and I began to feel strange. Then at around 2 am, I left his house. Nobody followed me or offered to drop me home, which was what was rather unusual. All I knew at the time was that I had to get home. I could sense it wouldn’t be right for me to stay there any longer.
“I started to walk home on the empty streets although the distance to my own house was long. Midway I was accosted by this man who was driving his own car and he asked me to sit in it and said he would drop me home. I trusted him and sat in his car. I have faint memory after that. I can remember more liquor being poured into my mouth and I remember being violated endlessly. When I woke up the next afternoon, I was in pain. I hadn’t just been raped, I was taken to my own house and had been brutalised. I couldn’t get up for my bed.”
Nanda alleges that when she told her friends about her ordeal, she was asked to shut up and forget about it, and that Nath continued to follow and sexually harass her across shows for years until he broke her confidence completely.
She concluded her account of brutalisation, rape and harassment with these words: "Irony is that the man, the predator in question here is the actor par excellence who is known as the most #Sanskaari (Cultured) person in the film and television industry."
Read the full Facebook post:
As the news spread, many celebrities have come out in Nanda’s support and slammed the actor reading the gory details of the incident.
"I have waited for this moment to come for 19 years." @vintananda's heart-wrenching post which reaffirms that #TimesUp, even for the (so-called) "most #Sanskaari person in the film and television industry." #MeToo #MeTooIndia pic.twitter.com/YygO1SfLMR— Shephali Bhatt (@ShephaliBhatt) October 8, 2018
Oh my God! This is very serious and needs to be reported to the police. Shame on you @aloknath— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) October 8, 2018
Cine And TV Artistes' Association (CINTAA) has reacted promptly by sending him a show cause notice. Actor Sushant Singh, a CINTAA official, tweeted today to say that Mr Nath will be sent a show cause notice asking him to explain why he should not immediately be expelled from the film body. Mr Singh also advised Vinta Nanda to file a formal complaint, promising full support.
Dear @vintananda I am so so sorry. As @CintaaOfficial a show-cause Notice will be sent to @aloknath first thing in the mrng, why he shudnt b expld. Unfortunately we’ve to follow the due process. I urge u to file a complaint against this vile creature, we extend u full support.— sushant singh (@sushant_says) October 8, 2018
With the global #MeToo movement finally taking off in India, several heroes across industries are being demolished. It is the escalating voices against sexual harassment across the world as part of the #MeToo wave that gave Nanda the courage to pen down the experiences which had left her "shattered".