Sona Mohapatra and Tanushree Dutta (Photo Credit: Instagram)
Singer Sona Mohapatra on Monday thanked Tanushree Dutta for her support after the actor praised her for raising voice against music composer Anu Malik, who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, adding that the #MeToo movement is far from dead. Malik was first accused of misconduct last year during the #MeToo wave and was briefly dropped as a judge of a singing reality show on Sony channel.
Several women, including singers Shweta Pandit and Neha Bhasin, levelled allegations against the composer. The allegations resurfaced with his reinstatement this September. In a daily, Tanushree, who can be credited with kick-starting India #MeToo in the showbiz sphere, had applauded Mohapatra and others for "fighting the good fight" against Malik and his reinstatement. On her part, Mohapatra said she felt "elated" after reading the actor's critique of the channel's "double standards".
"My own fight is not against just one man, but with an entire system which normalises sexual harassment and encourages perverted behaviour, power play and a lopsided system. I am not one to tire easily or run away from a battlefield and one odd fight might be lost but ultimately the war will be won. "The tide is turning and while it does take time, the good people of the world do rally together to fight evil and help change things for the larger good. So many speaking up and showing solidarity in public has strengthened the movement. MeToo will not die that easily, the second wave is here and its TimesUp now," the singer wrote on Facebook.
Mohapatra said Malik being removed from the show will be "a symbolic victory" for the people fighting for positive change, a better and safer future for children and women in India. "This is no small, petty or minor issue, this is a matter that defines what kind of 'India Shining' we plan to be in the coming years. This is the 'good over evil' type of fight..." she added.
Mohapatra was the first to call Malik out last year, claiming that he would call her at odd hours and once referred to her as "maal" in front of her composer husband Ram Sampath. Bhasin and Pandit also came forward with their stories of alleged harassment at the hands of Malik when they were young and looking for work. Last week, the music composer denied the allegations, saying he was "being cornered" for something he did not do and may take legal action to safeguard himself. In a statement posted on social media, Malik called the claims "false and unverified" which had affected his "only source of livelihood".