Bollywood diva Swara Bhasker has revealed that she was sexually harassed by a director but it took her six to eight years to realize what had happened then, as the society doesn’t teach women to recognize predatory behavior.
Without taking any name, Swara said that the harassment took place at the workplace and the director was being “predatory”.
“It took me six to eight years to realise when I heard someone else talk about their experience of harassment at a panel discussion like this. I was like God, what happened to me three years ago was actually sexual harassment at workplace! I never realized it because like you said, I escaped. Because the person did not touch me and I managed to ward it off,” Swara said during the sidelines of an event, reports PTI.
In 2017, Swara had first opened up about being harassed by a filmmaker during an outdoor shoot and had told Mumbai Mirror that “sexual harassment is a universal phenomenon because fundamentally it is about power or rather the misuse of power.”
Recounting the horror of being stalked and harassed by the director, the Veere Di Wedding actress, who was “fairly new” in the industry at that point, told Mumbai Mirror, “He stalked me during the day and called me through the night. I was asked to go to his hotel room on the pretext of discussing the scene and would find him drinking. During the first week itself, he started talking about love and sex and one night arrived in my room, drunk, and asked to be hugged. It was scary.”
At the event, Swara also said that she wasn’t able to recognize the pattern of harassment because “as part of our culture a girl child is not taught to recognize a predatory behaviour for what it is.”
“There is so much of culture of silence, around sexuality in India, around the issue of sexual harassment, actually not just In India, everywhere around the world that we are just going through our lives without recognising it properly. We just recognise the discomfort,” Swara said, PTI reports.
Several people from the industry, including actress Tanushree Dutta, have opened up about their #MeToo experiences, in which some of the top artistes have been named and shamed. Swara Bhasker was among the first celebrities to have voiced her support in favour of Tanushree Dutta.
“First of all these things are completely inhospitable and hostile society and a culture that actively or sub-consciously enables predators… We should use this moment to not just talk about the one predator that got caught and got glamourised,” Swara said
“But we should also talk about the culture that enables these predators to reach the position of power they do. So, it’s also a question of making ourselves aware of many things that go into legitimising predatory behaviour,” she added.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Swara was last seen in ‘Veere Di wedding’, for which she was mercilessly trolled as the star was seen masturbating in one of the scenes. At present the actor is preparing herself for the web series- It’s Not That Simple.
(With PTI Inputs)