First time in 20 years, I am feeling fearless: Vinta Nanda

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Mumbai, Oct 9 (IANS) Writer-producer Vinta Nanda, who has made allegation of sexual assault against Alok Nath, on Tuesday said that for the first time after 20 years she is feeling fearless to talk about the incident.

Vinta Nanda was interacting with the media here.

With the #MeToo movement gaining momentum in India in the past few weeks, a new case emerged late on Monday evening. In a chilling post, television producer-director Vinta Nanda accused actor Alok Nath of sexually assaulting her when she was the producer of popular 1990s show “Tara” (Zee TV channel), which had the actor in lead role.

Alok Nath, known as the “sanskaari bapuji” from family dramas, reacted on the incident, saying he “neither denies nor agrees” with Vinta Nanda’s allegations and that “only what a woman says will be considered”.

When asked Nanda to comment on Nath’s stand on the issue, she said: “He is obviously disempowered. You need guts to come out and say yes to what had happened and seek apology for it. He didn’t deny even in 2003-2005 when I talked and wrote about it in the media, so he is not in a position to deny my claims even today. For the first time in 20 years, I am feeling fearless because I have spoken out which I had to.”

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When asked whether she approached the media and the TV channel concerned when the incident happened with her, Nanda said: “That wasn’t the time… When I opened my mouth, so many cameras and so much press wasn’t around me. When I spoke then, not a single person asked me whether it had really happened. It was all brushed under the carpet…

“Everybody in the channel also knew about it and the press had reported the incident due to which he was thrown out of the serial. If you go back to the archives, you will see all those reports.”

Responding to whether #MeToo storm in India is a positive step towards getting justice, she said: “When I was posting my experience on Facebook, I didn’t have any idea that it would become such a huge issue, because every other day, I post something or the other there. My intention was to let it out of my chest.

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“I feel the movement which is happening now is very motivating and encouraging. That is the reason why I have came up with this horrible experience again, because I knew that what didn’t happened earlier despite speaking about it will happen now. Within one hour of putting up the post, it went viral and I started getting support which I am very grateful for, because without that support, one wouldn’t get confidence to speak before the media about such issues.”

She said she is not afraid of anything after speaking the truth.

“I am over 50 now. I don’t think if I go out, people will harm me, so I am not afraid or ashamed. The man who has done it to me is the one who should feel ashamed. I am speaking here because he should be shamed as he has lived for so many years believing that he has got away with it.”

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Talking about taking a legal recourse on issue, Nanda said: “I have spoken whatever I felt like and there will be ramifications of it. I have to take this to a logical end whether I like it or I don’t. I haven’t planned what is going to happen but I truly feel that perpetrator should be punished in every case. I think #MeToo movement has just started here and it will give strength to our future generations.”

The #MeToo movement exploded in the country after Tanushree Dutta renewed a decade-old complaint of harassment against Nana Patekar two weeks ago. Filmmaker Vikas Bahl, singer Kailash Kher and actor Rajat Kapoor have also been named as alleged predators.

–IANS

iv/nir

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