Parliament Not Immune to Casting Couch Culture, Says Former Woman MP


Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury. — File photo

NEW DELHI (PTI) — Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury on Tuesday said the casting couch was the “bitter truth” of not just the film industry but all work spaces and even Parliament was not immune to it.

It’s time for India to stand up and say “me too”, Chowdhury said after veteran Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan defended the casting couch culture.

“It’s the bitter truth. It is not just in the film industry. This happens everywhere in work spaces. Don’t imagine that Parliament is immune or some other work space is immune. If you look at the western world today, established top actresses took so long to come out and say ‘me too’. It’s time India stood up and said ‘me too’,” the former Rajya Sabha MP told the media.

The #MeToo campaign, which calls out sexual offenders, began in Hollywood late last year and triggered a global movement against sexual abuse.

Khan, the choreographer of songs such as “Ek Do Teen” and “Choli Ke Peechay”, had justified the the exchange of sexual favours for work in the film industry, saying it was not a new phenomenon and the film industry “at least” provided jobs and did not abandon women after raping them.

 She also put the onus on women and said everyone, including people in the government, indulged in it.

“I have already said I am sorry. But you don’t know the question that was asked … And now there’s so much ruckus,” Khan told PTI over the phone today as a video of her interaction with the media did the rounds of television networks and social media.
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