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Koena Mitra breaks silence on Tanushree Dutta’s harassment case

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The question isn’t whose side are you on, the question that needs to be asked is why is there a deafening silence in the industry. As a recent development in the case, Koena Mitra has broken her silence on the issue. She was friends with Tanushree Dutta at the time.  Even though the two never worked together in a film they were invited at shows and events during that period. Koena spoke to BollywoodLife after a lot of phone calls and texts. The website quoted her saying,  “I don’t want to be just another voice giving a byte that serves no purpose.”

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Koena was asked if she has done any shows with Tanushree to which she replied,  “Of course I know her, we have done shows together. I haven’t really stayed in touch with her and I am guessing you have called me because you know that we both were working actors around the same time.” Koena finally told BollywoodLife that,  “Let’s be honest, we need this Gundagiri to stop! We need to stop the men in the industry from dictating the narrative. Listen, I am not a man-hater, neither am I a feminist, but I have been a part of the industry too long to know how it operates. As a woman who has worked in mainstream cinema, I can openly say that you need to be subservient to men and follow their orders if you want to get work. You need to look small to make the man look big, you need to shut up to let the man be heard. You need to bow down and let the man tower over you. It’s not just Tanushree but there are so many girls with so many stories that perhaps might not get the same attention or platform that she got.”

 

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Koena made it clear that unlike Tanushree, she never faced any sort of sexual harassment during her stint in the industry. She furthur added, “See I was anyway labelled as rude and arrogant. I gave a clear signal that ‘do not mess with me’, I also didn’t have to go to production houses looking for work or give auditions. I got Musafir with Sanjay Gupta because Sanjay (Dutt) had seen my song in Road and he liked me in it. I am very outspoken about the way I feel when it comes to my interaction with men , be it an actor, a director, producer or even a choreographer.”

 

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She said that the monopoly of men in the industry needs to stop. “Can they make a film without a woman? If not, then why are women paid less? Why are women treated like they don’t matter. I know it’s easy for me to say all these things, but I really feel this issue isn’t restricted to the film industry, it is a mindset issue that needs to change. The youth needs to see the monsters for who they are and call them out. If all women unite and stop feeding the monster, he will eventually starve,”she said.

Terming ‘bread snatching’ is a bigger threat than harassment, Koena adds, “There are names in the industry who confidently say, ‘I will see who will give you work’, these are the men who will go to any extent to put you out of work. But let me tell you this industry is no one’s estate of property to own and rule. You cannot shut up a woman and threaten her, or even a man for that matter, saying I will take your bread and butter away if you don’t obey and follow my rules. How can one producer write the destiny of a million aspirations who want to join the industry ? How can one big male actor call the shots and decide who can and cannot be a working actress? This attitude is sickening.”

She finally summed it up by saying, “I don’t think any actor or filmmaker is the master or the dictator of who will work and who will become an outcast. I feel the only powerful person in this equation is the common man – the junta. They need to break old habits, break stereotypes and see things for what they are. Why do we need to go to a court? Let the public take matters in their hands and decide the course of action for someone who is a monster or a perpetrator of any sort of harassment. The industry is used to this one philosophy – ‘ladki in, ladki out’, that needs to stop. It has been prevalent even before we were born, we need to break those shackles, we need to empower our women and even men and give them the confidence that we will not support any sort of tyranny and injustice.”

 

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Also read: Watch: Rakhi Sawant insults Tanushree Dutta

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