Mumbai, (The Hindu):Former tennis professional Mahesh Bhupathi on Friday issued a statement on social media hitting out at the big names that have been exposed in the #MeToo movement over the past week.
“What a disturbing fortnight it has been with all these #MeToo stories coming out. My initial reaction was, ‘It’s about time’, but this feeling quickly gave way to paranoia. I suppose being the father of a six-year-old girl had a lot to do with that,” Mr. Bhupathi said.
The tennis pro, who is married to actor Lara Dutta, went on to say that as women around the country continue to share their horrific stories, most people in a position of power – influencers, as they are popularly called – have chosen to stay silent in the matter.
Mr. Bhupathi also narrated an incident where his wife was contacted by the agency of Mukesh Chhabra, one of the accused in the #MeToo campaign, for a leading international digital platform. Mr. Chhabra, a casting director, was recently accused of sexual harassment, and was suspended as director of Kizzie aur Manny. Ms. Dutta refused the deal after Mr. Bhupathi asked whether she wanted to be associated with a person who was in the news for the wrong reasons. “I think she did the right thing. I’m not sure it’s enough, though,” he said on Twitter. He also spoke out against all the celebrities who have been accused of harassment by several women.
“Personally or professionally, I have known and engaged with Suhel Seth, Vikas Behl, Anirban Blah, Chetan Bhagat, Sajid Khan and Anu Malik. That ends today on all accounts,” he posted.
In an appeal to men across the country, Mr. Bhupathi said, “Women who have been in toxic workspaces, and yet are staying quiet, need to understand how hard it is for these stories to be shared. Similarly, the men must understand that even if you played your part by being a silent spectator to injustice, now is your chance to set things right.”
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