10 October 2018
Mumbai: Actor Alok Nath, who has been accused of rape by "Tara" writer-producer Vinta Nanda, on Tuesday said the allegation is "absurd" as he "made her what she is".
Alok told ABP News: "Kuch to log kahenge (People will say something). Neither I am denying this nor do I agree with it. It (rape) must have happened, but someone else would have done it. Well, I do not want to talk much about it. As for the matter, if it has come out, it will be stretched.
"However, we only have to hear to women's stand because they are considered weak."
IANS tried contacting Alok since Nanda wrote about her experience via a Facebook post on Monday. But calls and messages went unanswered.
Nanda, a veteran writer-producer of the avant-garde 1990s' show "Tara" fame, accused Alok -- known for his "sanskaari" on-screen image -- of sexually violating her almost two decades ago. The Cine & TV Artists Association (CINTAA) has decided to send him a show-cause notice.
Asked about his "sanskaari" image, Alok said: "What do I have to do with people? People will say anything to spoil the image. Leave my image, whatever has been said, it is absurd."
He said at one point, Nanda used to be his good friend.
"...today she said such a big thing. In a way, it was me who made her what she is. It is useless to react on the allegations as in today's world, whatever a woman says, only that will be considered. In such a situation, it would be wrong to say anything," he said.
Nanda held a press conference here on Tuesday, talking further about how when she had opened up two decades ago, nobody came to support her.
"When I spoke years ago, not a single person came in support of me. And now one Facebook post became viral and I am standing in front of you with so much support. Not a single person questioned him that (time), everyone knew what happened... Silence is dangerous. I became silent, due to which I had to suffer so much. I left the industry," she said.
Has she filed a police complaint, Nanda said: "I have not filed a police complaint yet."
However, she feels this is "just the beginning" of the #MeToo movement in Bollywood and other fields in India.
"It will not stop now and it should not stop. It is encouraging. It is just a beginning. Women should not afraid to speak."
Why was she silent for so long?
"I took a lot of time to open. I was blaming myself that why I was so bold, why I was so open... I was questioning myself... So, I was not able to come out. But now I have realised that I should not be ashamed of myself and the man who harassed me should be ashamed of himself."