Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian Udit Raj on Tuesday said a campaign by women on social media to reveal the name of sexual harassers, which has been dubbed as India’s #MeToo movement, is a “wrong practice”.
Raj alleged that women take money to level allegations against men. “Habitually women take [Rs] 2- [Rs] 4 lakh, level allegations on men [and] then pick another man,” ANI quoted Raj as saying. “I accept it is in man’s nature. But are women perfect? Can it not be misused? A man’s life gets destroyed because of this.”
The legislator, who represents Northwest Delhi in the Lok Sabha, also tweeted in support of veteran actor Nana Patekar against whom actor Tanushree Dutta has levelled sexual harassment allegations. “The #MeToo campaign is necessary but what is the meaning of accusing someone of sexual harassment after 10 years?” he asked. “After years how is it be possible to verify the facts of the events?”
Patekar had denied the allegations 10 years ago, when Dutta first levelled them.
Raj said such campaigns can ruin the image of the accused. “It is the beginning of a wrong practice,” he added. The parliamentarian said Dutta’s allegations against Patekar amounted to defamation, reported News 18.
On September 25, Dutta accused Patekar of sexually harassing her in 2008 on the sets of the unreleased film Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss. She also alleged that upon Patekar’s request, men backed by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena attacked her car while she and her father were inside it.
Last week, Patekar sent a legal notice to Dutta, asking her to apologise for making false claims. She has also received a notice from director Vivek Agnihotri, who allegedly asked her to take her clothes off and dance to give co-star Irrfan Khan his cues while they were shooting for Chocolate.
On Tuesday, the Maharashtra State Commission for Women issued notices to Patekar, director Rakesh Sarang and choreographer Ganesh Acharya asking them to respond to actress Dutta’s allegations.