Celebrity News

#MeToo: Swara Bhasker speaks about facing sexual harassment at work!

Bollywood actress Swara Bhasker has revealed that she was sexually harassed by a director at work. But it took her almost six to eight years to realize what had happened. According to her, it is the Indian culture doesn’t teach women to recognize predatory behaviors.

Without quoting the name of the person involved in harassing her, Swara Bhasker said she wasn’t able to recognize that pattern or behavior because as a culture “we do not teach our girl children to recognize predatory behavior for what it is.”

She was speaking at a panel discussion on the life of Harvey Weinstein at & PriveHD’s Prive Soiree. Actor Dia Mirza and Anand Patwardhan were also part of the discussion.

While taking part in the discussion, Swara Bhasker revealed, “It took me 6-8 years to realize when I heard someone else talk about their experience of harassment at a panel discussion like this. I was like God, what happened to me 3 years ago was actually sexual harassment at the workplace! I never realized it because like you said, I escaped. Because the person did not touch me and I managed to ward it off”.

She further added: “I would just tell myself that this director is being… whatever, but that is not the full truth. The director was not being an idiot or an ass, he was being a predator”.

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“There is so much of culture of silence, around sexuality in India, around the issue of sexual harassment, actually not just in India, everywhere around the world that we are just going through our lives without recognizing it properly. We just recognize the discomfort”, Swara continued.

Swara lived with her parents in Delhi, before moving to Mumbai. Her parents had a university background, and they very aware of things, but said: “the real world is the world”. She said that she came to the film industry thinking if someone dares to proposition her, she will show them her “upbringing and values” but nothing of this sort had happened.

“It is really sad, because then slowly I began to realize that I am just not recognizing it. Because we are so endured to handle and manage things. Since childhood, if anything happens there is no one to tell you that this is sexual harassment,” she added further.

“First of these things is completely inhospitable and hostile society and a culture that actively or sub-consciously enables predators… We should use this moment to not just talk about the one predator that got caught and got glamourized”, added Veeray Di Wedding actress.

“But we should also talk about the culture that enables these predators to reach the position of power they do. So, it’s also a question of making ourselves aware of many things that go into legitimizing predatory behavior”, she stressed.

Saman Siddiqui

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