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Lyricist Varun Grover hits out at 'creeps' Vikas Bahl, Arunabh Kumar over sexual harassment charges

Grover, who has closely worked with Phantom Films in the past, also targeted TVF's Anurabh Kumar who has been accused of sexual harassment by a number of women. 

Keyur Seta

Scriptwriter and lyricist Varun Grover hit out at filmmaker Vikas Bahl and the attitude of society when it comes to the safety of women. Bahl was accused of sexual harassment by more than one woman last week.

The issue came to light when a girl accused Bahl of molesting her during a trip to Goa a few months ago. There were reports about him being sacked from Phantom Films, where he was one of the stakeholders along with Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena. However, Bahl not only rubbished the sexual harassment charges, but also the news about his ouster from Phantom Films.

No official statement has been issued by the production house so far.

Lyricist Grover wrote on a portal, "We all are guilty of letting creeps like Vikas Bahl and Arunabh (Kumar) flourish. Failure of organisations, people close to the assaulters who keep silence, and society plus systems at large that normalise such behaviour by either condoning it and in some cases even rewarding it (boy-club machismo).” The statement gains significance as Grover has worked with Phantom Films in Gangs Of Wasseypur (2012), Masaan (2015), Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016) and Udta Punjab (2016). 

Grover has also targeted Arunabh Kumar, founder of digital channel The Viral Fever (TVF), who was also accused of sexual harassment by multiple women last month. 

Highlighting the harsh reality through his own experience, he said, “Just speak to ANY girl around you and you will be shocked by the number of times she has had to face, endure, avert a sexual assault. In all my naivety I still ask them, 'Then how can you look so normal in your day to day life? How come you are not a ball of rage and fire?’ And every time I have gotten a wry smile in return — one that has made me feel stupid. I am the perpetrator, I am the one tied in a bro-code of silence, and then it’s me again asking why this is normal.” 

He added, “I hope something positive, reassuring comes out of these new cases in the news. Hope there is some justice for the girls involved. Till then, the least we men can do is acknowledge the disgustingly huge elephant in the room. Acknowledge that male entitlement over female body and soul is what makes people like Arunabh and Vikas and (Rajendra) Pachauri and (Tarun) Tejpal and Mahmood Farooqui stray into criminal territory.” 

Grover urged for the abolishment of patriarchy and need for feminism. “That entitlement resides in all of us, not just in the people outed in recent years. Becoming more aware, sensitive, feminist, is always a work in progress. In many cases, it’s a daily struggle against so much conditioning. Patriarchy is the first and biggest religion on the planet and its followers don’t even realise that they are devouts. Hope we men wake up and burn down our holy books,” he signed off. 

Grover also shared the same write up on his Twitter page.