When Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexual harassment, she opened a Pandora’s Box where every day new allegations and cases are coming out. Many skeletons have tumbled out of closets and there is a growing list of perpetrators. However, amidst the #MeToo allegations, veteran actor Dalip Tahil made news for the right reasons. Apparently, the exploitation stories were always there and the actor states that he knew about it. He told a leading daily, “As far as I can remember, for 40 years in this industry, women-and even men-haven’t had a say.”
Tahil hit the headlines recently for recording a female actor’s consent before filming a rape scene for a web series. However, he says that this isn’t something he has done for the first time in the wake of the #MeToo movement going on in India but he took a woman’s consent even 25 years ago. He narrated a chilling incident to the leading daily, where the director had not taken the female actor in confidence and did not bother about her consent for the rape scene.
[caption id="attachment_37091" align="aligncenter" width="531"] Dalip Tahil[/caption]
He said, “Twenty-five years ago, I was doing a similar scene. It was one of those movies that had a rape scene. The director, whose name I won’t take, actually told me, ‘When you’re doing the scene, tear the girl’s clothes apart, do this and that, but we won’t tell her.’ I flatly refused! I said, ‘This is such an immoral thing to do.’ The girl was new, and she had to make a living. I went in the opposite direction: I called the girl and said, ‘Do you know this is what they’re planning to do?’ The director was aghast and almost ran away. The girl was so upset; she burst into tears and ran into a room.” Apparently, the director reprimanded him later for “spoiling his day’s work”.
Tahil further revealed that he took it upon himself to convince the girl to do the scene but with her consent and full knowledge of what it entails. He said, “In those days, there were no mobile phones, only the raw stock camera, and the director would be in charge. He’d never do it (film her consent), so we got the girl to come out, told her that there would be nothing that wasn’t planned or out of her comfort zone, and we did it. For many years after that, I didn’t do such scenes, until now.”
[caption id="attachment_139126" align="alignnone" width="647"] Veteran actor Dalip Tahil[/caption]
Besides Nana, Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Subhash Ghai, Kailash Kher, Rajat Kapoor, Vikas Bahl, Anu Malik and many others have been named in the #MeToo movement as sexual offenders.