Actress Rakhi Sawant has some harsh words in store for her counterpart Tanushree Dutta and the #MeToo movement. She had, in a press conference, alleged rape by Dutta, who had sparked off the #MeToo movement in Bollywood by alleging sexual harassment by actor Nana Patekar. Ask Sawant about Patekar, and she says that they were on the set with 200 dancers and 300 people from the film unit. “How can a big star molest a girl in front of 500 people? Nana Patekar himself has questioned what she is saying and has said that she is like his daughter. In fact, when Tanushree had locked herself up in the van for five to six hours, I was summoned and I finished shooting the song for the movie, Horn OK Please, overnight,” she says. Sawant also questions why Dutta had a problem doing an item number with Nana Patekar, when she didn’t have a problem doing intimate scenes with Emraan Hashmi, Bollywood’s serial kisser. “Emraan Hashmi kare toh chamatkar, Nana Patekar kare toh balaatkar!”
Has Sawant been coerced by Nana Patekar or Raj Thackeray of MNS to make these headline-grabbing statements? She denies it. “Neither Nana Patekar nor Raj Thackeray has called. Whatever people say is untrue,” she says.
Clearly, Sawant and Dutta are daggers drawn. “I haven’t received a [defamation] notice yet. I’m just getting threats from her lovers and boyfriends who call me at her behest. I have filed a complaint with the police. I have a video and other proof against her, which I will produce in the court,” says Sawant. “If she is going to slap a case of Rs 10 crore, I am going to slap a case of Rs 50 crore. Do you think I’ll let go? I will tell the court to cancel her visa and her passport too because if I go to court, I want her in the court too,” she says.
Sawant says that Dutta’s claims about rapes in Bollywood are false. Tanushree Dutta is no sati savitri, she says. “I am telling you the truth about this industry. Nobody rapes in Bollywood. There are no rapes here, there are “understandings”, there is a “give and take”, but there is never a rape, or pressure, or insistence. All these girls who are disgracing Bollywood and India, I have only one thing to say to them… 1000 chuhe kha kar, billi chali hajj ko [The cat goes to hajj after killing a thousand rats],” says Sawant.
She harks back to the conspiracy to destroy India and vows to fight back against the #MeToo campaign. “They say there is no need for AK47s or bombs to destroy India; just toss a #MeToo bomb, and India will be destroyed. Everybody will get divorced. Look at what’s happening with Anu Malik. If this #MeToo campaign continues, there will be so many divorces, and instead of courts looking at real rape cases, they will just be busy looking at these false rape cases,” she says.
Lashing out at the media, who she feels has also donned the mantle of a judge, Sawant says that she came across a piece where a young girl had been raped by two men which was not covered extensively by media because they were too busy running after Dutta for their TRPs. “If some normal person gets raped, the media is not interested, but if a star gets raped, or if a minister or a celebrity rapes, then the media is very interested in showing that story. They are helping spread Tanushree’s lies for their TRPs, advertisements, and sponsorships. If Miss India says something everybody will listen and if I, an ordinary girl, approaches the media and says that there has been a rape, then nobody will listen. [Referring to the rape allegations she has leveled against Tanushree] Is this our country’s media?
Sawant calls herself the true daughter of India and says that she will stand up alone, fearlessly, and fight against liars. “Pigs are seen in packs, the tigress always comes alone,” she says. “I’m alone from Bollywood and everybody else is with her [Tanushree]. Everybody is siding with lies, and nobody is supporting the truth, but I will fight for it,” says Rakhi, who is determined to “not spare anyone”. “I have a lot of patriotism inside of me and Bollywood is my bread and butter, the place that puts food on my table,” says Sawant.
”If there is a #MeToo campaign, why are there no #HeToo and #SheToo campaigns?” she asks. She believes that it is important to listen to the man also, whether he is innocent or not. Men should bring out a morcha. "Stop Beti Bachao campaign, start Aadmi Bachao campaign,” she says. “But the media will not show this,” she says. However, Sawant is quick to return to her current favourite topic, Tanushree Dutta. “Miss India is bankrupt, she is a loony and a psycho. Why don’t you media people think about that? I know Tanushree. She is a number one liar, they should just take away her Miss India Tag."