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MeToo: Lara Dutta refuses work offer from Mukesh Chhabra’s company

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Mumbai, Oct 20: Actress Lara Dutta Bhupathi has turned down a work offer routed through the casting company of Mukesh Chhabra, one of those accused of sexual harassment amid the #MeToo wave in India.

Lara’s tennis star husband Mahesh Bhupathi made the revelation in an open letter posted to Twitter on Friday, urging people to “stop engaging” with those who have been sexual offenders, and raised a concern on why those in positions of power in the film fraternity have chosen to remain silent.

Mahesh wrote: “Two days ago my wife, who’s shooting out of town, got an offer from a leading international digital platform through Mukesh Chabbra’s company. She forwarded it to me for my feedback. I asked if she really wanted to empower his company even after what’s been in the news.

“Her reaction was that the digital platform hadn’t really pulled back business from him either. Later, Lara got in touch with the digital platform and told them she wouldn’t accept work through this company specifically. I think she did the right thing. I’m not sure it’s enough, though.”

As women around the country continue to share their horrific stories, most people in a position of power — influencers, as they’re popularly called, have chosen to stay silent on the matter, pointed out the father of a six-year-old daughter.

He added: “While these Me Too revelations are upsetting my wife as much as they are me, maybe even more since she has seen a lot of this at close quarters and some of her friends are involved at both ends, the fact remains that the cream of the industry has refused to support the movement. Sajid Khan is not directing Housefull 4 anymore, but is that enough?

“A peek at Suhel Seth’s lnstagram account will reveal photos of him with every famous and powerful person in the country, yet not one has felt the need to say anything about his behaviour. People in the know tell me the reason for this is, ‘Everyone has skeletons in their closet’ I don’t buy that.

“Women who have been in toxic work spaces,and yet are staying quiet need to understand how hard it is for these stories to be shared. Similarly, the men must understand that even if you played your part by being a silent spectator to injustice, now is your chance to set things right.”

Mahesh said he has himself heard stories — directly and indirectly — but he chose to ignore them since “business is business”. But not anymore.

“Personally or professionally, I have known and engaged with Suhel Seth, Vikas Bahl, Anirban Blah, Chetan Bhagat, Sajid Khan and Anu Malik. That ends today on all accounts.”

He also urged those who are in a position of influence through their massive social platforms, to stop engaging and start alienating “serial predators”.

“Show them that while the law and investigative agencies willtake their course, society should – and will – reject them. The stance needs to be crystal clear — guilty unless proven innocent.”

IANS

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Bollywood wishes Shabana Azmi on her 70th birthday

Azmi took to Twitter to respond to each and every birthday wish.

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Shabana Azmi

Mumbai, Sep 18 : Wishes and greetings poured in from B-Towners for veteran actress Shabana Azmi on her 70th birthday. Bollywood celebrities took to their verified social media accounts on Friday to share good wishes for the multiple National Award-winning actress.

Hrithik Roshan tweeted: “Happiest Birthday @AzmiShabana aunty! You’re one of the most loving and caring person I have had the pleasure of knowing. Your objectivity and outlook is a source of inspiration. Lots of love & respect.”

Anil Kapoor wrote: “Happy 70th Birthday, @AzmiShabana! Thank you for always being my friend, guiding light and inspiration! Wishing you all the health & happiness always! Lots of love.”

Shilpa Shetty shared on Instagram Story: “Wish you a very happy birthday ‘padosan’ @azmishabana18 ji. May you continue to shine brighter and have happiness in abundance.”

Riteish Deshmukh wrote: “Dearest @AzmiShabana ji, your work on screen & off screen equally inspires us. May god bless you with good health and long life #HappyBirthdayShabanaAzmi.”

Dia Mirza posted: “Happy birthday @AzmiShabana!You know you inspire me everyday. So much love and respect for you. Thank you for being YOU.”

Manisha Koirala tweeted: “@AzmiShabana happy birthday Ma’am.”

Rahul Bose wrote: “Happy birthday, E. Thank you for the inspiration, kindness and laughter. @AzmiShabana.”

Vivek Oberoi posted: “Happy Birthday to one of the finest actors of Indian cinema, @AzmiShabana ! Your performances have inspired generations of actors and continue to do so! May god give you a long and healthy life! Much love always!”

Shefali Shah tweeted: “Happy birthday Shabanaji. May you always be filled with love, laughter and poetry. Lots and lots of love @AzmiShabana #ShabanaAzmi.”

Director Sanjay Gupta expressed: “Many Happy Returns Of The Day Shabanaji.

Have a fantastic day and a great year ahead.

Keep inspiring and guiding us.

@AzmiShabana.”

Swara Bhasker wrote: “Many many happy returns of the day to this inspiring legend! @AzmiShabana ma’am we walk the path you created.. so much love! Have a great day! Wishing u health, happiness and May we get to see many more delicious performances from uuuuu.”

Meera Chopra shared: “Happy birthday @AzmiShabana, a woman i totally admire for everything she is. Her grace, beauty, demeanour.. just everything!!”

Azmi took to Twitter to respond to each and every birthday wish.

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Actress Kangana Ranaut ‘will quit twitter’ if anyone can prove she starts fights

Kangana Ranaut has tweeted that contrary to what many believe from her online presence, she is not a very ‘ladaku’ person. The actor said that she is never one to start fights with others but is always the one to finish them.

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Kangana Ranaut

From the Shiv Sena to Urmila Matondkar, Kangana Ranaut is engaged in multiple wars of words with multiple parties at the moment. However, she insists that she is never the one to start a fight. In a tweet shared on late Thursday night, Kangana said she would quit Twitter if proven wrong.

“I may come across as a very ladaku person but it’s not true, I have a record of never starting a fight, I will quit twitter if anyone can prove otherwise, I never start a fight but I finish every fight. Lord Krishna said when someone aks you to fight you mustn’t deny them,” she said.

After Urmila told Kangana to keep check on the drug problem in her state of Himachal Pradesh, Kangana retaliated by calling her a ‘soft porn star’ who wasn’t known for her acting skills. Kangana’s comments were met with criticism by her Bollywood colleagues.

She also got in a tussle with comedian Kunal Kamra who had joked about her tweet on spirituality. When Kangana called him a ‘fool who wanted to discredit her struggle’, Kunal questioned why she required the Y-plus security from the central government.

On Thursday evening, Anurag sarcastically told Kangana to go fight for India against China if she believes herself to be ‘the one true Manikarnika’. He was responding to a tweet by Kangana in which she had called herself ‘a warrior’. Kangana said that she meant it as a metaphor. “You’re taking metaphors literally. How have you become so stupid? You were quite clever when we used to be friends,” she wrote in a tweet.

She has also been tweeting against Rhea Chakraborty in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, called Karan Johar ‘movie mafia’, called Alia Bhatt a ‘mediocre’ actor and dubbed Swara Bhasker and Taapsee Pannu ‘B-grade’ actors.

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RJD leader Arun Yadav: Sushant wasn’t a Rajput

However, RJD spokesman Mritunjay Tiwari said Arun Yadav has made the statement in his personal capacity and the party has nothing to do with it.

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Sushant Singh Rajput No More

Patna, Sep 17 : RJD legislator Arun Yadav has stirred up a new controversy about the caste origins of Sushant Singh Rajput. Yadav says Sushant wasn’t a Rajput by caste and that any descendent of Maharana Pratap won’t die by hanging himself.

Yadav’s remark has political implications in the context of the upcoming Bihar assembly elections. Opposition leaders say members of the RJD are habitual offenders in making such controversial statements.

Arun Yadav, RJD MLA from Saharsa, said Rajputs are known to fight till their last breath like Maharana Pratap and do not give up on life the way Sushant Singh Rajput allegedly did.

“We are sad that he died but I am afraid that he wasn’t a Rajput,” Yadav said.

Following his statement, the BJP quickly pounced on it saying the RJD is known for doing politics of caste.

“We want Tejashwi Yadav to clarify his stand on Sushant Singh Rajput and Kangna Ranaut,” Anand said.

Neeraj Kumar, information and public relations minister of Bihar and a prominent JDU leader, also said: “Such statements display the complete bankruptcy of a party. Their education was done at Charwaha Vidyalaya (school for shepherds). You cannot expect much from them. Sushant Singh Rajput doesn’t belong to one caste or community alone. He was a son of Bihar.”

However, RJD spokesman Mritunjay Tiwari said Arun Yadav has made the statement in his personal capacity and the party has nothing to do with it.

“Our leader Tejashwi Yadav is one of those leaders who have been demanding justice for Sushant Singh and his family since day one of the tragic incident. He had demanded a CBI inquiry in the early stages of the investigation,” Tiwari said.

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