‘MUSICIAN WANTED ME IN HIS ROOM’
More women are needed in positions of power to make things better, feels Anoushka Shankar
In some way, I was protected because of who my father is. Even with that, a couple of people [did make advances] ANOUSHKA SHANKAR, MUSICIAN
The furore over the alleged sexual harassment of some dozens of women by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has coincided with the #metoo campaign drawing attention to the widespread sexual violence against women. Now it’s the turn of Anoushka Shankar, the renowned sitar player, to say, “Me, too.” “When I was 14, I had a musician ask me if I could go up to his room…,” says Anoushka, who’s the daughter of the sitar legend, Pandit Ravi Shankar. She tweeted for #metoo with the message: “When I was six, when I was 7. 8, 9, 10. I was 11, 12, 13. 14. 17. 28. In London. Las Vegas. New Delhi. California. France. New York. #metoo” (sic). It’s an eye-opening campaign, but can it lead to actual change? “In my mind it’s not that we are going through a dark phase right now but we are shining a light on something dark that has being going on from the beginning of time,” says Anoushka, adding, “We need more women in positions of power, so that women’s issues are more thought of. So just tweeting isn’t enough, though it’s a great start. But it has to lead to votes for people who would actually help to make things better.” The London based artist is in India to promote the restored version of the film Shiraz: A Romance of India (1928) as part of an India tour by the British Council and British Film Institute. Anoushka has composed the music for the entire film, which is a first for her.