Mallika Dua, a popular face on social media, has decided to support her father Vinod Dua after he was accused of sexual misconduct. The fire of #MeToo movement has taken up an expanding list of journalists and other celebrated figures from Bollywood fraternity. Mallika asserted that though it is her father’s battle, she will “stand by him”.
Senior journalist Vinod was accused by the filmmaker Nishtha Jain who claims that she was sexually harassed by him three decades ago. Vinod has denied the allegations and to endorse this movement, Mallika said: "If at all my father is truly guilty of what you described, it is unacceptable, traumatic and painful."
The comedy star shared an Instagram post and exclaimed that she is in solidarity with the movement and in support of the voices. However, she expressed her despair for dragging her name in this. “Dragging my name into this was in terrible taste,” added Mallika.
She stated that it is not her battle to fight neither it is her responsibility. “It’s not MY responsibility or MY shame or MY burden. I will deal with this my way and on my time. Stop forcing women to give statements for your entertainment,” Mallika lashed out.
Nishtha recalled how Vinod Dua lashed out at Akshay Kumar for his sexist remarks on her daughter Mallika, while he was the one who did wrong to her.
She wrote, "When I read about his outrage against Akshay Kumar's sexist words to his daughter Malika Dua, I said to myself he's obviously forgotten that he was no less sexist, no less misogynist, no less creepy a sexual harasser, potential rapist. If he did to me, I'm sure he would have done it to other women. Today, he does programmes explaining (to) the world what constitutes sexual harassment. He should stop everything and look into his own shady past."
However, the filmmaker apologised to Mallika is she has inadvertently shamed her. "Sorry, if I have inadvertently shamed Mallika Dua. I had no such intention. Thanks for friends and supporters for pointing this out. She's in no way responsible for her father's acts. However, I do hope she'll be able to believe me, empathise with me as well as the other women he has harassed," she wrote on Facebook.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, many names from the Indian entertainment industry have cropped up in the cases of sexual harassment and misconduct.
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Celebrities such as Nana Patekar, Rajat Kapoor, Subhash Kapoor, Alok Nath, Subhash Ghai, Vikas Bahl, Kailash Kher, Sajid Khan, Mukesh Chhabra and comedy group AIB, Aditi Mittal, singer Raghu Dixit, Tamil lyricist-poet Vairamuthu have been named and shamed.
The #MeToo campaign has been a welcome sign for the urge to clean the industry of the raunchy character that it has attained over the years.