On Sunday afternoon, HuffPost India released a detailed account of a woman who has accused director Rajkumar Hirani of sexual misconduct while she worked under him as an assistant director for Sanju. The victim in a statement has alleged that Hirani sexually abused her not once but many times during the period between March and September 2018. Hirani in a statement has denied all the allegations calling it ‘malicious.’ He even said that when he was apprised and confronted, he had committed to cooperate for an investigation and had asked the woman to take the legal route.
Sanju chronicling the life of Sanjay Dutt starred Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Manisha Koirala, Dia Mirza, Paresh Rawal among others. As soon as the news hit the internet, we got in touch with many of them to know if they were aware of any of this and if they ever noticed any such behaviour. Dia, who played Maanyata Dutt’s role in the movie, responded and said that while she is deeply distressed by the news, she feels an official inquiry must be conducted.
She said, “I am deeply distressed by this news. As someone who has known and respect Raju Sir for 15 years, I can only hope that a due official enquiry is conducted. He is one of the most decent human beings I have ever worked with and I think it would be grossly unjust on my part to speak on this as I do not know the details.” Amidst this, HuffPost report mentioned that at the time when the publication got in touch with the director, neither Rajkumar Hirani Films nor Vinod Chopra Films had the legally-mandated Internal Complaints Committee which violates the (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) PoSH guidelines.
In her statement to HuffPost India, the woman recounted, “My mind, body and heart were grossly violated that night and for the next 6 months.”
In response, Hirani’s statement read, “I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months back. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or any legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false malicious and mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation.”
Well, the dead silence revolving around the news report is alarming. We hope more from the fraternity find it in them to open up and take a stand on the matter.