Bet­ter late than never, says Raveena on CINTAA panel

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Yashika Mathur yashika.mathur@htlive.com

Not one to mince her words while voic­ing an opin­ion, ac­tor Raveena Tan­don was in­deed an apt choice to be­come a part of the an­ti­ha­rass­ment com­mit­tee formed by Cine and TV Artistes’ As­so­ci­a­tion (CINTAA) to tackle var­i­ous cases of sex­ual ha­rass­ment that are be­ing re­ported in the wake of the #MeToo move­ment in showbiz.

Happy with the for­ma­tion of such a com­mit­tee, Raveena says that she is ready to stand by those who suf­fer at the hands of sex­ual preda­tors. “[These] cases had be­come so ram­pant and so many women were [just] pow­er­less. I think this was be­yond high time. A spe­cial com­mit­tee should have been made a long time ago but the bub­ble had to burst at some point and some­where the cor­rec­tion had to hap­pen,” says Raveena, who will be shar­ing the com­mit­tee panel with ac­tors Renuka Sha­hane, Taapsee Pannu, film-maker Amole Gupte, jour­nal­ist Bharati Dubey, POSH (Pre­ven­tion of Sex­ual Ha­rass­ment) lawyers and psy­chol­o­gists.

The ac­tor, who has al­ways been vo­cal about so­cial is­sues, was among the top hero­ines in the ’90s, and she says that back then, there was never a go-to or­gan­i­sa­tion for such is­sues.

“There is al­ways the right time for things to hap­pen and now there is univer­sal sup­port on this is­sue. Ear­lier, if any­one spoke up, the sup­port would be very half-hearted and spo­radic. It wouldn’t even have made the kind of dif­fer­ence that it is mak­ing now. Though I be­lieve this should’ve hap­pened a long time ago, nonethe­less, it’s bet­ter late than never,” she adds.

Asked if the com­mit­tee has set any rules so far, Raveena in­forms, “We have met and dis­cussed [a few things] but we haven’t made any­thing of­fi­cial. CINTAA is mostly about pro­tect­ing the ac­tors but we are also reach­ing out to the di­rec­tor’s guild and have a united front. This is ba­si­cally to make this in­dus­try a safer place for women so that they don’t get tar­geted.”

As the #MeToo move­ment con­tin­ues to gain mo­men­tum, one won­ders if Bol­ly­wood will now be a safer place for women to work. “I don’t think it’s go­ing to get cleaned up com­pletely. There are still a lot of girls who are quiet, but there def­i­nitely is some fear in peo­ple. There is a chance for them to be ex­posed, so they will be­have them­selves,” an­swers Raveena, adding, “What hor­ri­fies me is that we are all part of the in­dus­try in­ter­nally but imag­ine the num­ber of girls who come from out­side and have to suf­fer at the hands of cast­ing di­rec­tors or other agents. We will go out of our way to help them.”

What hor­ri­fies me is that we are all part of the in­dus­try in­ter­nally but imag­ine the num­ber of girls who come from out­side and have to suf­fer at the hands of cast­ing di­rec­tors. RAVEENA TAN­DON, AC­TOR

Raveena Tan­don

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