The Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey scandals have definitely created major ripples, since another shocking revelation sees the light of the day. The experience is shared by the Veere Di Wedding actress, Swara Bhaskar.
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Swara was asked if she ever had a harrowing experience of sexual assault. Not to anyone’s surprise but much to our disappointment, Swara answered in the affirmative.
She said, “There have been catcalls during shoots and eve-teasing on one of my sets. I’ve been groped by a mob during promotions and during a 56-day outdoor at a remote location, when I was still fairly new, the director harassed me with texts and dinner invites. He stalked me during the day and called me through the night. I was asked to go to his hotel room on the pretext of discussing the scene and would find him drinking.”
Swara continued with the nightmare and said, ”During the first week itself, he started talking about love and sex and one night, arrived in my room, drunk, and asked to be hugged. It was scary! I was young and alone. I would switch off the lights after pack-up and remove my make up in the dark so he would think I was asleep and stop calling me.”
She finally found some courage and confronted the filmmaker. For a while things became normal but then he again went back to his disgusting self.
Swara also talked about the shameful state of the casting couch in Bollywood, which, by the way, is very much real.
She opened up about the brutal truth –“Of course. I’ve been propositioned by men who were in a position to cast me. I lost a few roles because I didn’t give in. It made me vulnerable, nervous. Some people even stopped responding to my messages because they knew I would not give in. Being an articulate, educated girl they sensed that I would not take things lying down.”
Swara parted with the words –“Lose the part but don’t get on the couch.”
The only way of making people realise the intensity of the sexual assault issue is by dragging the assaulters out into the open and shaming them, just like Vidya Balan said.
More power to you Swara. Be the woman you are.