The woman who accused singer-actor Karan Oberoi of rape and extortion, is out on bail. This raises the question of the inequalities within the legal system between men and women pertaining to sexual crimes. “I just don’t even know how to react. It feels so strange that I was put immediately behind bars despite having overwhelming evidence of my innocence and here, despite the evidence of guilt against the person concerned, the authorities didn’t even feel the need to hold them to question about it,” says Oberoi.
According to him, the bias in the law is frightening. “We speak of hundreds of years of patriarchy that has fostered gender inequality. But we cannot compensate for the wrong done to women by over-empowering them with legal rights. In trying to be fair to women, we are turning a section of them into vendetta machines.”
Meanwhile, the actor, Pooja Bedi, and other friends have triggered the #MenToo movement and are all set for a long battle against gender inequality. “Every woman who does what this lady did to me needs to be deterred by stronger laws and bigger possibilities of conviction when found to have filed a false case. We are filing all the necessary charges through my lawyer. We’ve sent out letters to all the relevant cabinet ministers and lawmakers regarding our concerns in the preferential treatment given to women in gender laws.”
For the actor, it will take him longer to get over the prison experience. “I can’t eat or sleep and sometimes break down for no reason at all. I am gradually getting to realise that the journey back to normalcy would be complex and slow. But I am not slowing down the momentum for the MenToo movement even for a moment. No man should have to go through what I did for no fault at all.
However, he confesses that his biggest mistake was to befriend women on social media. “I admit to my guilt as far as going on Tinder is concerned. I urge all men to be extremely cautious while making friends on social media. You don’t know what you’re getting into.”...