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In 11 years, nothing has moved in the Gaurang Doshi assault case: Survivor Flora Saini


Speaking to us over the phone, the Stree (2018) actress spoke further on the struggle of registering a complaint against Doshi post the violence.

Shriram Iyengar

On Tuesday, Stree (2018) actress Flora Saini's post detailing her physical abuse during her relationship with producer Gaurang Doshi was the latest in a long list of #MeToo survivor tales that emerged. The actress put up a long post speaking of the oppression, intimidation and abuse that she faced under Doshi, and the struggle of speaking against him. 

The actress also shared a picture of her bruised face and fractured jaw, "this was the last of the one year abuse I took..came out with a fractured jaw n a scarred soul for life.." she wrote. 

Saini was reportedly in a live-in relationship with Gaurang Doshi, producer of films like Aankhen (2002) and Deewaar: Let's Bring Our Heroes Home (2004). In her post, the actress revealed that Doshi was physically abusive, and threatened her if she spoke out. 

Speaking with Cinestaan.com over the phone, Saini spoke further on the struggle of registering a complaint against Doshi post the violence. She said, "I had spoken up even then. But they would tell me that he is so strong, he is powerful, and nobody wanted to listen to me. They didn't believe me." 

Sadly, even the law failed to help Saini in her troubled moment. She revealed, "I had filed a police complaint in the Versova police station. The first day, my father is an ex-army officer, and we sat there from morning till evening. No NC (non-cognisable) was filed, or even a small complaint. They were calling him (Doshi), speaking to him, and joking about it. My father said, 'See, I served this country. This is my serviceman card. I was a colonel in the army, please file a report for my daughter. Don't file an FIR, but lodge a report.' They refused." 

It was only when Saini's mother approached then commissioner of police that the cops chose to lodge a complaint.

Not that it has been of great help. The actress is still running around for her case in the Andheri court. She revealed that she just had her court date yesterday, but it keeps getting posted for another day for some reason or the other. "I had my date yesterday in Andheri court, and it has not started. In 11 years, nothing has moved in the assault case."

The actress had also filed a case of domestic violence against Doshi, however, the court ruled against her in the case. "The case that I lost was a domestic violence in a live-in relationship. I was told the chargesheet (for assault) might take time, but DV (domestic violence) is a provision for women asking for protection. I was getting threats. That case is supposed to get over in six months, mine took seven years. I've been to court on every date, and lost it on the grounds that I am not his wife. So I can't fight it. "

Adding that the 'victim pays the highest price', Saini said, "The accused doesn't even come to court, and I go there. I have to identify him. In 11 years, I haven't been able to identify him since he never comes to court." 

However, not all is lost, says Saini. The many women coming out with the truth of their own experiences, and naming accused is encouraging, says the actress. "Over time, I have met so many friends of mine who are in this inudstry, and they speak to me. We talk amongst ourselves, but we don't want to come out for reasons like mine. They are afraid of losing jobs, being thrown out of films, being judged by others. The victim only pays the highest price." 

This silence often encourages the evil men, she adds. "The girls standing up today are setting the highest example, and maybe, they are saving lives. They don't even know it. At least, if people don't change, they will be scared. At least they will think twice before acting like this." 

The movement is a long time coming, says Saini, "How much oppression should women have faced for the volcano to finally erupt? Women have always been the stronger sex, but they have always been kept under pressure." 

With more such courageous women stepping up, the times may be a-changing.

Related topics

Sexual harassment