In a controversial statement, the actor claimed that agreeing for casting couch is a matter of personal choice, while adding that a legend like Khan should be respected.
Shatrughan Sinha supports Saroj Khan; says nothing upsetting about casting couch
Mumbai - 27 Apr 2018 12:00 IST
Updated : 12:22 IST
Actor Shatrughan Sinha has spoken out in support of choreographer Saroj Khan after she was criticised for her comments on casting couch, thus adding fuel to the burning issue.
In a controversial statement, the actor claimed that agreeing for casting couch is a matter of personal choice. “What happens on the couch is a matter of personal choice. No one is forcing any girl or boy to lie down on the couch. You have something to give and you are offering it to someone who is interested. Where is the compulsion?” he asked while talking to PTI, a news agency.
However, the veteran made it clear that he does not support casting couch. “I am not saying it is right. I would never be part of such a compromise. But we cannot shut our eyes to the reality around us. Don’t condemn Saroj ji for speaking the truth. Condemn those who create a situation where girls and boys feel they have to compromise to get ahead in life,” Sinha said.
Khan was heavily criticised for her "atleast they don't abandon after raping" comment. she had said, “This [casting couch] has been going on for ages... This is not something exclusive to the film industry, it even happens in government offices. Why are you after the film industry? At least they provide a livelihood. They don’t abandon someone after raping them.”
Later, Congress leader Renuka Chaudhary had also corroborated that casting couch exists in politics.
Sinha not only agrees with Khan and Chaudhary, but he also feels there is nothing wrong about demanding for sexual favours in return for work. “Neither Saroj Khan nor Renuka Chowdhary is wrong. Sexual favours are demanded and given in both the entertainment world and in politics. It's an old and time-tested way of getting ahead in life. You please me, I'll please you. This has been happening since time immemorial. What is there to get so upset about?” he said.
The actor added that a legend like Khan should be respected. “Saroj Khan's contribution to choreography and to shaping the careers of [actresses] Rekha, Madhuri Dixit and the much-missed late Sridevi, was invaluable. Saroj Khan is a legend in her own right. She often speaks from her heart and lets emotional correctness rule over political correctness. If she said that girls have to compromise sexually in Bollywood [Hindi film industry], she must be aware of what goes on,” he said.