'I FELT IT WAS THE RIGHT TIME FOR ME TO TALK'
In a gutwrenching post, writerproducer Vinta Nanda says she was sexually assaulted by the lead actor of her hit TV show, Tara, in the ’90s
With the #Metoo movement gaining momentum in India in the past few weeks, a new case emerged late on Monday evening. In a chilling post, television producer and director, Vinta Nanda, has accused actor Alok Nath of sexually assaulting her when she was the producer of the ’90s show Tara, which starred the actor in the lead role.
She shared details of the incident that occurred 19 years ago without naming the actor in her post. Later, she confirmed to IANS via text that, “It is Alok Nath. I thought saying ‘sanskaari’ would do the needful.” Excerpts from an interview:
After 19 years, what made you want to share your story now?
It was important for me to speak up now, in light of #Metoo, or else I couldn’t carry the cause forward. I had been following posts regarding #Metoo and felt it was the right time to talk. I am overwhelmed with the support and response from my peers and the public. I didn’t expect it, as I had posted on my Facebook page. I woke up feeling like a new person. I am feeling relieved. If it wasn’t for this environment, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. If I hadn’t posted, I wouldn’t have understood how strong the movement is in India.
What do you feel about the movement?
It is important that it happened. The world hasn’t provided any moment better than now for a woman like me to speak up. If people from my generation don’t come out and speak, how do you expect young girls to have the courage to do it? The movement shows the level of frustration women in our country feel. My friends and I had been talking about this ever since #Metoo picked up in India, with Tanushree Dutta breaking the glass ceiling. It was natural for me to speak up. It is an enabling and introspective time for women who have been through trauma or to support those who have [been traumatised]. It is also time for men to introspect and realise where one draws the line, and what are the limits of superiority that most of them feel.
Will you file a police complaint?
I don’t know. I posted what happened, as I felt strongly about it. I have not thought beyond that. I have to see how it turns out and what I need to do. The priority would be to protect myself. Moreover, this is a purani baat, and I am emotionally over it. I internalised it long ago.
While you gave ample hints, why did you refrain from naming the actor in your post?
I didn’t think it was necessary to take his name. I thought ‘sanskaari’ was a giveaway. It was my way of revealing who he was, and there is no one who didn’t understand who he was. It was in my comfort zone not to name him.
I EMPATHISE WITH VINTA: NAVNEET
In a statement to NDTV, Navneet Nishan, who played the lead in Tara, said: “I support every woman and man standing up for themselves in the #Metoo movement. I empathise with Vinta for the terrible pain she has gone through. I dealt with the four-year harassment by slapping the man in question, and it is done and dusted. l suffered the loss of the show and was shamed by the man through media. I endured that. I am immensely glad that the power trip and sexual dominance coming from this power is being called out. It is high time.” (sic)
CINTAA head, actor Sushant Singh, tweeted his support for Vinta. He said that CINTAA will ask for a show cause notice from Alok Nath, on why he should not be expelled. He tweeted, “Dear @vintananda I am so so sorry. As @Cintaaofficial a showcause Notice will be sent to @aloknath first thing in the mrng, why he shudnt b expld. Unfortunately we’ve to follow the due process. I urge u to file a complaint against this vile creature, we extend u full support.”