When it comes to #MeToo and India, all we can think about is BOLLYWOOD!
Even though the Me Too movement went viral in October 2017 as a hashtag used on social media in an attempt to signify the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in every aspect of the society, India’s Me Too movement started with Tanushree Dutta, a former Bollywood actress and still continues to just cover the film industry, corporate & political world.
But finally, someone said it!
Recently, actor and director Nandita Das after lecturing at the 24th Kolkata International Festival said that the MeToo movement was not just about the elitist but also about women across the country who face sexual abuse and harassment every day.
Every morning, we come to know a new article on sexual assault or harassment in the film industry, which is a hard reality but at least people are coming out to speak up for themselves. But we have to remember that it is just not in the glamour part of society. Sexual abuses are everyday phenomena, which are in every stratum of society.
Nandita adds that focus of the movement should be to educate, motivate and inspire every woman across the country, who has faced or is suffering misconduct, to come-out and speak-up.
She says that not every woman who has witnessed harassment knows about the MeToo movement and those hashtags.
Even if India claims to be so-called digital, according to a survey conducted in January 2018 by Statista.com, the active social media users in India is 250 million only in a population of 1.35 billion and still growing. Campaigns such as MeToo are limited to just social media platforms. And social media limited to only 250 million population of India. The purpose of this campaign should be to reach out to women who are traveling in a local train every day and encountering harassment, or a girl in a rural area, who doesn’t even know that she is being sexually abused, or the mother who is quiet for years and suffering domestic violence because she has no support to raise her children, if she speaks-up. It is also for those men who fear to speak up for themselves because they will be questioned on their masculinity or even take a stand for someone who is a victim of misconduct.
While people are assuming the campaign to be as women vs men, Nandita Das points that the movement was against, “patriarchy” and even men needed to support it. Therefore, it is important to hear women out and just not make it an elitist thing and also to remember that there are women who are vulnerable and can’t speak up because of unawareness and lack of support. They are the ones whom we have to address and speak up about.
There are different types of abuses hammering people in their daily lives. Abuses aren’t gender-wise restrained, and no gender should be neglected by society. An abuse of any kind can disturb a person’s physical, mental health as well as affects their professional, social and private life. If the MeToo campaign just stays within the web of social media, it would be a disappointment for us as a society where we can’t even provide a platform for people who are suffering misconduct in their lives and they have to live with it without getting justice for their miserable memories.
About the Author
Abhilasha is a student who is pursuing a master’s degree in Journalism and Communication. She is fighting within herself to figure out between passion, aspiration, and career. She likes writing and cinematography with love for theatre.