The past few weeks have been an eye-opener for many. Many women have spoken about the atrocities they have faced in the hands of powerful men and many such stories have been shared over social media where women have garnered up the courage to talk about how they have been harassed by such men. Names such as Rajat Kapoor, Aloknath, Subhash Ghai, Bhushan Kumar have cropped up.
Now, veteran action director and actor Vicky Kaushal's father, Sham Kaushal, has been accused of propositioning a crew member during an outdoor shoot in 2006.
Nameeta Prakash, who has worked as an assistant director on films like Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, Ab Tak Chappan and Monorama Six Feet Under, has spoken about Shyam’s sexual misconduct on Twitter. She said that during one of the outdoor shoots, Shyam asked her to join him for a drink in his room. On her firm refusal, he showed her a pornographic MMS on his mobile phone.
"Back in 2006 on an outdoor shoot, Sham Kaushal, the famous and award-winning Bollywood stunt director decided that I should be going to his room after wrap to drink vodka. The sound of that was just so wrong that I lied to him and told him I don't drink at all," she wrote."He tried to insist, by saying that I didn't know what I am missing out on and when I stuck my ground, he picked up his phone and suddenly plugged it in front of me with a porn MMS video clip on it. He said he bought this from the streets of Bangkok for 10 bath. All I did was pretended that someone paged me on the walkie and walked away," Nameeta added.
She informed her line producer immediately, who ensured that she was never alone with the stunt team for the rest of the schedule. She also said that the executive producer apologized to her a few months later, at the wrap party, but "by that time, it was already a laughing matter/gossip within the other crew members who found out about it".
By Nameeta Parekh. About Shyam Kaushal, Bollywood stunt director. pic.twitter.com/b5bLeALFMF— Mahima Kukreja 🌱🌈✊🏽 (@AGirlOfHerWords) October 14, 2018
Responding to the allegations, Sham Kaushal issued an apology on his Twitter account. "Ever since I have been working in this industry, I have tried my best to be a good human being, professionally and personally, never wishing to hurt or disrespect anyone," he wrote.
Vicky Kaushal has earlier supported the cause by saying that #MeToo movement is bringing an important and much needed cultural shift. The Manmarziyaan actor said it is necessary to believe women and pay attention to their stories.
“It is an important cultural shift. It is a beautiful shift happening. It is so amazing to see so many women coming out with their stories of what happened with them. It doesn’t matter whether it is one day or one year or ten years or 100 years. It is still very difficult for women to come out with a story like this and place it front of the entire world in it’s most naked form.“The least we can do is we can hear them and give them a platform and dignity to say what happened with them and assure them that it will be taken seriously. It is high time something like this happened,”
The MeToo movement in India gained steam after actor Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her during the shooting of 2008 film Horn Ok Pleassss.