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Nana Patekar breaks silence on Tanushree Dutta’s sexual harassment claim

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Nana Patekar Tanushree Dutta

New Delhi, Sep 28: Actor Nana Patekar has finally broke his silence over sexual harassment accusations that were put on him by actress Tanushree Dutta.

Patekar dismissed the accusation saying that he may take legal action.

In his first response since the allegation re-emerged this week a decade after Tanushree had spoken out about it, Nana told Mirror Now: “What can I do about what one says? You tell me. What does it mean by sexual harassment?”

Tanushree, who had first raised the allegation against Nana in 2008, brought the spotlight once again on her unsavoury experience of working with the actor in the film “Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss”, through a recent interview.

Nana told Mirror Now: “We were on the set and there were 200 people sitting in front of us. What I can say?”

Asked if he will take any legal action, he said: “I will see what can be done legally. (When asked about any legal action) Let’s see. It is also wrong/inappropriate to talk to you (media) since you publish anything.”

On the allegation that there’s a different face to the National Award-winning actor, Nana said: “Let anyone say anything. I will continue to do in my life what I have been doing.”

Tanushree’s allegation is being seen as one that is likely to kickstart Bollywood’s own #MeToo movement.

She has hit out at Nana and named choreographer Ganesh Acharya, director Rakesh Sarang and producer Sami Siddiqui as accomplices in the harassment she faced.

Back in 2008, at a press conference to address the “indecent behaviour” allegation by Tanushree, Nana had said he was highly surprised at the charges by the actress, who he said was “my daughter’s age”.

On her part, the former beauty queen has said her voice was suppressed back then by Nana’s powerful position.

Strong reactions from Bollywood are yet to emerge on the controversy.

Meanwhile, Bollywood actor-director Farhan Akhtar was the first to come out in support of Dutta.

Replying to a thread on Twitter posted by journalist Janice Sequeira who shared a first-hand account of what happened on the sets of the film Horn ok Pleassss in 2008, Farhan Akhtar wrote:

“This thread is very telling. @janiceseq85 was there at the time of the incident being debated today. Even when #TanushreeDutta had career concerns to keep quiet 10 years ago she did not & her story hasn’t changed now. Her courage should be admired, not her intention questioned.”

Richa Chadha tweeted her reaction on late Thursday evening calling the treatment meted out to Tanushree as “intimidation”. “Her only fault was she did not back down,” Chadha tweeted. Priyanka Chopra evasively retweeted Farhan Akhtar’s tweet and said, “Agreed…the world needs to #BelieveSurvivors”.

Actor Swara Bhasker also took stand for Tanushree. She is also among the first three celebrities to speak up for Tanushree Dutta. Swara tweeted a video of Tanushree where the actor has spoken extensively about the incident and Bollywood’s eerie silence with #IBelieveYouTanushreeDutta.

Twinkle Khanna also came out in support of Tanushree. In a tweet, she said, “Please read this thread before judging or shaming Tanushree Dutta. A working environment without harassment and intimidation is a fundamental right and by speaking up this brave woman helps pave the way towards that very goal for all of us!”

Priyanka Chopra evasively retweeted Farhan Akhtar’s tweet and said, “Agreed…the world needs to #BelieveSurvivors”.

In fact, Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan on Thursday dodged a question about the news, steering clear from the row.

At a film’s trailer launch, a mediaperson asked the thespian and superstar Aamir Khan to share their views.

Big B said: “Naa toh mera naam Tanushree hai, naa hee Nana Patekar. Kaise uttar dun aapko iss sawaal ka? (Neither is my name Tanushree, nor is it Nana Patekar. How do I answer this question?)”

On the other hand, Aamir said: “Without knowing the veracity of something or the details of something, I don’t think I can comment. It is not right for me. But I would like to say that whenever something like this does happen, it’s really sad. Now if it has happened or not it is for people to investigate.”

Actress Shruti Seth hopes Tanushree’s moment of stepping out and naming and shaming “is the beginning of the end of sexual harassment in Bollywood”.

“I hope more women find courage to call out their perpetrators. Bravo,” she added.

Tanushree hopes her story gives “girls a sense of confidence to come out with their story if they are suffering”.

“Back then, the mainstream media did not pursue the story as actively as it is happening in the present day. Now, it is the right time for all the victims to share their story,” Tanushree said.

While a string of Bollywood celebrities, including filmmakers and actors have called out casting couch and sexual harassment in the industry, naming and shaming is yet to become a reality, even as Hollywood counterparts have remained outspoken ever since mass allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein came to light.

Comedian Bill Cosby has been sentenced upto 10 years in prison and has been branded a “sexually violent predator” by a US court for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.

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Suhana Khan shares screenshots by trolls commenting on her skin tone

Suhana is very much active on her Instagram page and often shares her photos flaunting her impeccable makeup skills and incredible fashion sense.

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suhana khan colourism

Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana Khan addressed the trolls who have been commenting on her post about her skin tone. The star kid posted a beautiful photo of herself and then a series of comments she has been receiving from Instagram users calling her ‘kaali’. Before that, Suhana posted a note which read as “For all the people who don’t speak Hindi, I just thought I’d give a bit of context. The word for the colour black in Hindi is ‘Kaala’. The word ‘kaali’ is used to describe a female who is dark-skinned. And it almost never has positive connotations.”

The 20-year-old started by writing, “There’s a lot going on right now and this is one of the issues we need to fix!! this isn’t just about me, it’s about every young girl/boy who has grown up feeling inferior for absolutely no reason. Here are just a few of the comments made about my appearance. I’ve been told I’m ugly because of my skin tone, by full-grown men and women, since I was 12 years old.”

Suhana further wrote, “Other than the fact that these are actual adults, what’s sad is that we are all Indian, which automatically makes us brown – yes we come in different shades but no matter how much you try to distance yourself from the melanin, you just can’t. Hating on your own people just means that you are painfully insecure.”

Suhana is very much active on her Instagram page and often shares her photos flaunting her impeccable makeup skills and incredible fashion sense.

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Will add value, says minister on Shekhar Kapur’s appointment as FTII president

Shekhar Kapur has been appointed to hold the FTII president’s post till 3 March 2023

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Shekhar Kapur

Celebrated filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, 74, has been appointed president of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Society which runs the prestigious film school in Pune, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Kapur, who is known for movies from the Indian superhero film ‘Mr India’ to ‘Bandit Queen’ based on the incidents in the life of Phoolan Devi and an acclaimed biopic on Queen Elizabeth, will hold the post till March 3, 2023.

According to a person aware of the developments, the ministry of information and broadcasting has also appointed Kapur as the chairperson of the FTII governing council.

The tenure of the earlier members of the society had ended in March 2020. The other members of the governing council will be appointed soon, the person cited above said.

Kapur will head the premier film school at a time when, like many other colleges and universities, it is also grappling with the challenges posed by Covid-19.

The FTII had earlier declared the results of the entrance test and is planning the future course. Online classes and training courses have been continuing.

“Wherever it is difficult for students to attend classes, the institute has been putting up the material on the website,” said the person cited above.

Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said “Kapur, who has a vast experience, will add more value to the Institute. I am sure everybody will welcome his appointment”.

“Shekhar Kapur, as a reputed film maker of international stature, is without doubt an excellent choice. FTII welcomes him as its Chairman. It’s come a full circle from Dev Anand who started his career working at Prabhat Studio within the campus of FTII today, to his nephew Shekhar Kapur as Chairman of FTII,” said Bhupendra Kainthola, Director, FTII.

The previous FTII chief was BP Singh known for his role as the lead actor in tele-serial CID. Singh was recently appointed by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to its general assembly.

The Film and Television Institute of India was set up by the Centre in 1960 in the premises of the erstwhile Prabhat Studios in Pune. It conducts various film related courses including on acting, direction, sound recording, editing and cinematography.

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Shekhar Kapur appointed chief of FTII society, chairman of FTII governing council

The ministry of information and broadcasting announced Kapur as the new President of FTII Society and Chairman of FTII Governing Council, FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola said.

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Shekhar Kapoor

An official on Tuesday said that prominent filmmaker Shekhar Kapur has been appointed as the president of the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) society and chairman of the institute’s governing council.

The ministry of information and broadcasting announced Kapur as the new President of FTII Society and Chairman of FTII Governing Council, FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola said.

The 74-year-old filmmaker’s tenure will be till March 3, 2023, he added.

Born on December 6, 1945 at Lahore in Pakistan, Kapur is known for his work in both Hindi and international cinema. He has directed films such as Elizabeth (1998), Bandit Queen (1994) and The Four Feathers (2002).

He has received numerous awards for his work in the field of cinema including Padma Shri in 2000 and the Golden Globe Award in 1998.

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