Some of the allegations that have come up in the ongoing #MeToo movement have no name of the victim, and it’s not the case that they have chosen to remain anonymous. They have just levelled an allegation in stealth mode.
This is the biggest bane of the #MeToo movement where brave survivors are coming out with their true identity while naming and shaming their perpetrators. These anonymous complaints have always existed in every industry but it never triggered a revolution because nobody had the guts to come out in the open with their true identity.
All that changed when Tanushree Dutta resurfaced with her identity and not only that, she had the guts to name and shame her harasser – in this case, Nana Patekar, choreographer Ganesh Acharya and the makers of the 2008 film Horn ‘Ok’ Pleasss.
However, in the case of producer Bhushan Kumar and writer of Sacred Games and stand-up comic Varun Grover, there’s no name, no identity but an anonymous complaint.
While Bhushan has filed a police complaint to find out who’s levelling allegations anonymously, Varun Grover has been posting messages regularly on social media asking people to check the veracity of the complaints that were levelled against him.
Kumar recently released a statement denying all the allegations levelled against him and said, “I am appalled and anguished to know that my name has been dragged in this #metoo by some anonymous person(s). The allegations against me are bad on the face of it. I have enjoyed an impeccable reputation and have always maintained professionalism. The tweet has been used as a tool to defame me and malign my reputation. I have taken this allegation very seriously and lodging a complaint with the cyber cell of the Mumbai Police to track the mysterious people(s) whose twitter handles have disappeared within seconds of uploading the malicious tweet. I’ll take all such actions as I will be legally advised.”
This is what is marring the #MeToo movement in India; the anonymous unsubstantiated complaints. If we continue to listen to the anonymous complaints and not learn to separate the grains from the chaff – the movement is unlikely to succeed in India.
Sussanne Khan, Malaika Arora-Khan, Kangana Ranaut and a host of other actresses have appealed to the #MeToo survivors to come out in the open and have requested the anonymous complainants to have the guts to come out in the open when everybody is doing so.
Let’s make the #MeToo movement survive and not nip it in the bud.