Even parliament is not immune to Casting couch, says Renuka Chowdhury
Well known Congress female politician Renuka Chowdhury added fuel to the topic of casting couch that is raging a heated debate for quite some time in India.
Very recently, the issue was reignited by Bollywood’s famous choreographer Saroj Khan, who had said that casting couch happens everywhere and pointing the finger only at the Hindi film industry was not proper. She even went on to say that it is good that it maintains people’s livelihood. “People do not rape those girls and then throw them out,” she said. Later she apologized for her comment.
It was in such a charged environment a day later that Renuka Chowdhury kicked up the controversy further by saying: “In Parliament, there are also those type of people who want to use women. It is the bitter truth of our society and we should except it,” said Chowdhury. This problem exists everywhere – in every sector where women work. “It is the time that India should stand up and say ‘Me Too’,” said Chowdhury.
However, casting couch was equated with sexual harassment at the workplace by Chowdhury and she even dragged in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi into the controversy. “When the PM makes a derogatory statement against me in Parliament, he is taking away my dignity as a woman,” she said.
“When the PM insults women in parliament when Kiren Rijiju uploads objectionable videos, it’s derogatory towards me,” she added.
She even dragged the Parliament into the controversy. “It is not just the Film Industry, Even Parliament is not immune to it,” she said.
The Congress leader said this while responding to the controversial comment of Saroj Khan on casting couch, even though Khan had later apologized for her comment. At an event a couple of days ago, Saroj Khan had said that casting couch is prevalent in every sector. It has been there from the beginning. It has not started now, she said. While acknowledging that some people want to use girls, she also said that sometimes it also depends on the girls that they let themselves to be used. These comments comment created a huge controversy even though she had soon apologized for the comments.
Blaming the police for being insensitive to victims of rape, Renuka Chowdhury drew analogy to the famous dialogue from the film ‘Sholay’ and said that whenever a rape victim goes to file a police complaint against such an incident, the police asks her “kitne aadmi the” (how many men were involved in the rape?)
It was the way she said these things – being a woman herself, that created a greater controversy more than the words she said. Chowdhury was asked for comment in Patna by the media on the multiple incidents of rape that have taken place in recent week months in the country. She was in fact objected to by one of the opposition political leaders present on the occasion.