CHANDI­GARH ‘IT STARTS AT HOME’

Ac­tor Par­vathy de­con­structs sex­ual ha­rass­ment in the in­dus­try and her own strug­gles to over­come it

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - FRONT PAGE - Rishabh Suri rishabh.suri@htlive.com

Ac­tor Par­vathy, who is a prom­i­nent name in the Tamil and Malay­alam film in­dus­tries, is all set to make her Hindi film de­but with Qarib Qarib Sin­gle. Ever since she made her Malay­alam de­but with Out Of Syl­labus (2006), she hasn’t looked back. How­ever, the ac­tor re­veals her jour­ney hasn’t been easy, as she, too, had to face sex­ual ha­rass­ment à la Hol­ly­wood, where ac­tors and artists have con­fessed to be­ing sex­u­ally ex­ploited by peo­ple in po­si­tions of power. “Yes, I have met such peo­ple, and have ex­pe­ri­enced it (sex­ual ha­rass­ment), too. It’s not shock­ing, and that makes it worse. [There has been] not just sex­ual, but men­tal ha­rass­ment, too. Be­ing used that way, be­ing threat­ened to make you go out of work—I have gone through the en­tire spec­trum in the last 11 years.” How­ever, Par­vathy points out that sex­ual mis­con­duct goes beyond the work­place. “When it hap­pens in your own fam­ily, you’re told ‘Ch­hodh de, uss bare mein baat nahin karni hai (Let’s not talk about that).” “[It’s just] what Alia’s (Bhatt, the lead ac­tor in the film) char­ac­ter in High­way (2014) says, that when some­thing like this hap­pens within your own fam­ily, your rel­a­tives are more wor­ried about what the so­ci­ety will say. Since this is what we are told when we are chil­dren, when it hap­pens at the work­place, our first thought is not to tell it to any­body,” ex­plains the 29-year-old.

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