Delhi

Casting couch in Parliament also, claims Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary

It is not just in the film industry. It (casting couch) happens everywhere and it is the bitter truth. Don’t imagine that Parliament is immune or other work places are immune to it, Chowdhary on Tuesday

The Hush Post: In a big development, senior Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary said on Tuesday the hallowed halls of Parliament aren’t immune to the casting couch mentality.

Chowdhary’s comment came in response to statements earlier in the day by Bollywood choreographer, Saroj Khan, who said the casting couch mentality is rampant in the Indian film industry, Times of India reported on Tuesday.

“It is not just in the film industry. It (casting couch) happens everywhere and it is the bitter truth. Don’t imagine that Parliament is immune or other work places are immune to it. It is time that India stood up and said, ‘Me Too’, ” said the Congress leader Chowdhary.

‘Me Too’ is a campaign to end sexual assault. This campaign spread like a wildfire on the social media starting in October 2017, after US actor Alyssa Milano encouraged women to tweet about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault – as in, ‘Me Too’ — to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem”, the report said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Bollywood choreographer Khan also spoke of the casting couch in the Hindi film industry. However, Khan had a take on it that was a totally different from the viewpoint of Renuka Chowdhary. Khan said the mentality has existed in Bollywood for decades now, “but at least it provides a livelihood.”

The choreographer said, someone or the other is always trying to take advantage of females. Khan said the government does so too, so it isn’t just the film industry that should be seen as a villain.

Another film industry member didn’t take kindly to Khan’s comments. Sri Reddy, an actor from the Telugu Film Industry, said she’s lost respect for Khan, a senior film personality.

Earlier this month, Reddy herself had gone topless to protest the casting couch menace in the Telugu film industry. Reddy had staged a dharna outside the Movie Artistes’ Association (MAA) headquarters ‘Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce’ in Film Nagar, Hyderabad.

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