Much has happened in the recent past, where celeb and non-celeb women have come forward to take a stance against the abuse they've faced from influential men at workplaces and elsewhere. #MeToo, a movement that began its viral fame since October 2017, had found its ground in India too, be it in Bollywood or otherwise. In fact, some high-profile cases here are still being heard in court.
However, given false allegations that have also come to light, the #MeToo movement in India has slowly but steadily started transforming into the #MenToo movement. Perhaps this was bound to happen.
Recently, actress Esha Gupta uploaded a post on her social media vilifying and abusing a businessman named Rohit Vig for allegedly “raping” her with his eyes at a restaurant in Delhi. Not the one to take the offense lying down, Rohit has slapped a defamation suit against actress for defamation, accusing her of maligning his name without discernible provocation.
The defamation suit filed by his lawyer Vikas Pahwa declares, “The mental agony caused to the complainant is continuing every day since close friends and colleagues are contacting him and his family on a continuous basis and expressing displeasure over the content posted by the accused...many members of the public have been expressing doubts on the integrity and moral character of the complainant believing the false and defamatory statements to be true.” Any sort of sexual misconduct is condemnable and any victim of who went through the ordeal needs to be trusted and supported. And while it is worrisome when the sensitivity of the issue is mocked upon by people making false allegations for the sake of revenge, profit or quick fame, it is especially baffling to see empowered celebrities debasing men for their petty ego’s sake.
Genuine concerns or ego trips?
Another ‘MenToo’ victim is singer-actor Karan Oberoi. Recently, he had to face a month-long jail-term for alleged sexual misconduct towards a woman, who later staged her own attack to prevent Oberoi’s bail. Given the state of affairs, Karan feels the ‘MenToo’ movement will break the trend of arbitrary accusations against men.
“It was something that was bound to happen. You can’t tarnish a man’s reputation he’s built all his life by using his pic to name and shame him, without him having a chance to give his response. Shocking!” says Karan of the recent Esha incident.
Also, he rightly feels the matter could have been resolved in a far more civil manner than the abusive tone Esha adopted on the social media. “This could very well have been sorted out by speaking to him and making your displeasure known, and complaining to the right authority at the hotel to investigate the matter, or by including the cops, if you felt that the offence was of that serious nature. Esha is a strong, empowered woman who speaks her mind effectively and strongly, and that would have been a more appropriate response in my opinion,” added Karan.