India’s self-professed guardians of feminism are curiously silent on the biggest sexual harassment allegations that are currently rocking Bollywood.
Prominent leftist media portals have either chosen to be completely silent on the allegations raised by Payal Ghosh against Anurag Kashayp, or have chosen to focus on Kashyap’s response instead. Payal Ghosh, who has acted in several south Indian movies, had last evening levelled sensational allegations against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. She had described in lurid detail how Anurag Kashyap had “opened his zipper and tried to put his c*ck inside (her) vagina” while she was meeting him about getting a role in his movies. The news had been the top trending topic on Twitter all of last night.
However, The Wire has no mention of Payal Ghosh’s allegations on its website, and has chosen to not carry a single article on the issue. It’s not as though The Wire doesn’t normally carry articles on MeToo and sexual harassment — it has published detailed accounts on the impact of India’s #MeToo movement, articles on how Doordarshan is allegedly not taking action on sexual harassment complaints, articles on #MeToo allegations in the media, and even articles on how Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment all the way away in America. The Wire also regularly covers Anurag Kashyap, having recently published articles reviewing his movies, talking of his views on caste, and even a whole article when he’d refused to fly Indigo Airlines after it had banned Kunal Kamra. But when sexual harassment allegations have been levelled against Anurag Kashyap, it has maintained a stony silence.
Scroll too has no mention of Payal Ghosh’s allegations against Anurag Kashyap. Like The Wire, Scroll usually prominently reports on #MeToo cases, writing whole articles on when a theatre actor was accused of sexual harassment, articles on sexual harassment articles against MJ Akbar, and even an article on the anniversary of the MeToo movement. Scroll also covers Anurag Kashyap prominently, reviewing his movies and also writing about how Anurag Kashyap had visited Shaheen Bagh in “solidarity”. But Scroll too doesn’t have a single article on Payal Ghosh’s latest accusations on Anurag Kashyap.
The Quint did cover the incident, but instead chose to focus on Anurag Kashyap’s rebuttal. “Anurag Kashyap Responds to Payal Ghosh’s Sexual Harassment Claim,” was Quint’s headline. The Quint also glossed over the most disturbing aspects of the accusations, in which Anurag Kashyap had allegedly “opened his zipper and tried to put his c*ock inside” Payal Ghosh, but prominently carried his response. The Quint also appeared to defend Anurag Kashyap, publishing another article about how Taapsee Pannu had called Anurag Kashyap the biggest feminist she knows.
This isn’t a response you’d usually expect — these portals usually are at the forefront of discussing women’s issues in India, are claim to support women as they attempt to “smash the patriarchy”. But as soon as allegations have been raised against a fellow leftist, they’re trying to pretend as though the allegations don’t exist, or are trying to defend the accused. Which just goes to show how leftists have slowly turned feminism into a political tool — the upliftment of women is now only secondary in their agenda.
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