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It's time all industries stand up and speak against sexual harassment: Radhika Apte


The actress was speaking on the #MeToo movement in India that started after actress Tanushree Dutta accused veteran actor Nana Patekar for harassing her on the sets of Horn OK Pleassss (2009) in 2008.

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IANS

With #MeToo movement, many women are coming out in the open to talk about the sexual harassment they have faced by people in power across different fields, including Hindi cinema. Actress Radhika Apte is "loving" it and she feels everyone should come together to create safe workplaces where any kind of abuse is neither exercised nor tolerated.

"There are a lot of people in the industry who are trying to come together and find a way of forming a system which is going to be more apt to deal with the abuse or misuse of power within the industry," Apte told IANS, a news agency, in an e-mail from Mumbai when asked about her take on #MeToo.

"I think it is very good that people are coming out and speaking about such things. It is extremely essential and I completely support the movement. I hope that we can all constructively come together and formulate a structure where everyone can feel safe sooner rather than later.

"I genuinely love that this movement is coming here," added the actress, who is the face of new campaign of Daniel Wellington watches in India.

The #MeToo movement in India started after actress and former beauty queen Tanushree Dutta in September recalled an unpleasant episode with veteran actor Nana Patekar from the sets of Horn OK Pleassss (2009) in 2008.

After that, a slew of controversies surrounding Vikas Bahl, Sajid Khan, Anu Malik, Anirban Blah, Alok Nath, Chetan Bhagat, Gursimran Khamba and Kailash Kher have emerged.

Apte, who not only broke the stereotypical image of the Hindi cinema heroine with her roles in films like Phobia (2016), Badlapur (2015) and Manjhi: The Mountain Man (2015), but is also vocal about her strong opinions on social issues. She says the Hindi film industry should stand up and raise voice on such issues.

"I think it's high time, not only in Bollywood [Hindi film industry], but in all industries that we stand up and raise awareness and speak about these issues.

"I personally feel that any kind of abuse should not be exercised or tolerated and there should be systems in place that will allow people to speak about it fearlessly. There is nothing worse than having that lack of a safe foundation that results in a person being fearful to speak up and living life suppressing what happened because they fear some consequence to talking about it. Nothing can be worse than that," she said.

Has her time in the Hindi film industry, especially the starting years, been easy?

"I had to struggle a lot to get to where I am today and it is appreciated more because people are aware of my work much more so there's more talk about it. But at the same time I don't think the struggle has ended because in any freelance industry there is a constant struggle with constant rejections, constantly trying to maintain a level of work as well as challenge yourself and bring something different to every project you do," she said.

With the success of Andhadhun (2018), would she says she has arrived now?

"I honestly never think that I have ever 'arrived'. It's all a process to me. Today, I am lucky enough to be getting a lot of work that I'm passionate about, but one can never know what the future has in store," she replied.

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Sexual harassment