Friday, July 27, 2007

Sexual favors in Bollywood !

Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam in 'casting couch' sex scandal
Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam in 'casting couch' sex scandal
If rumors have even a little bit of the credibility factor in them, then it wouldn't be wrong to state that more than half of our Hindi Film Industry is involved in what we call - "immoral acts", going by the society norms. Be it extra-marital affairs, underworld connections, monetary cheating and last but not the least, the most controversial sin of all, "the casting couch".

From the bottom most pit to the high-handed actresses have been linked to this tainted term; performing sexual favors for those who "matter" in the industry and in some cases, innocent souls turned into Bollywood prostitutes just so they could hear the famous words, "Lights, Camera and Action".

However for long there was this perceived notion that only women are subjected to the matters of casting couch and this could be in Bollywood, Fashion Industry or the Television Industry. But over the years, the number of cases concerning male casting couch have also been over-whelming.

The very recent one (which did manage to make to our daily-tabloids) being popular Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam accusing renowned Film Critic, Mr. Subhash K. Jha of holding a personal vendetta against him just because he refused his sexual advances. In his retaliation to Jha's article "It's a nosy affair" in Times of India, where the accused in many words hinted the singer to not whine over his nasal rival aka. Himesh Reshammiya's mass-popularity, the not-so-happy Sonu Nigam decided to set the record straight.

Let me spill the beans open for you. I've kept quiet for too long just hoping that his conscience will overcome his vengeance for me.

It's not a secret in the industry that he is a homosexual. God bless him for homosexuals are normal people with just different sexual preferences, just like men lusting for women is not a taboo. But a man punishing a woman for not complying with his sexual advancement is an issue right? So why isn't a man imposing upon another man an issue? Isn't this a free world?

Am I supposed to reciprocate to something that I am not interested in? And do I have to be subjected to this kind of DADAGIRI for no fault of mine? He further goes on to state his justified reasons. What is my fault in this? No one is obligated to interact with people who make one feel uncomfortable! And especially when someone would constantly talk either negative, or suggestive! I am not just an artiste but also a reader of your newspaper from the time I gained consciousness to this world. I demand you to treat me like a common man. I am not alone in this world; I have a close knit family, friends and admirers who feel deeply hurt when this kind of unaccountable bashing is inflicted upon me. I want to be left alone. I don't want to be subjected to this strange kind of sexual assault where all that I did like a phenomenon some time back has become something so hateworthy for this sick man.

Now if you ask me, I think by outing Mr. Jha's alleged scheming tactics (if one goes by the letter's every word) Sonu did the right thing. If the so-called film critics have the official license to rip apart anything and everything concerning the Film Industry, I believe everyone else, even those remotely involved have the very same rights to justify or defend their intentions (even if it means getting "personal"). Agreed, for many Sonu Nigam may appear to be jealous of His Himeshness's stardom, be it as a singer or an actor. But tell me something wouldn't you be pissed off as well on watching your competitor raking-in recognition, not out of talent but simply out of the mass absurdity - frankly speaking, I am and I am not even a bathroom singer.

A good friend, who doesn't agree on Sonu's approach, however raises a valid point.

For all their talk of "industry" and it's ills, Jha - a journalist who's only connected peripherally to said industry, with very limited power over the careers of upcoming actors/singers - remains the only one to be directly named. If we're having an indepth examination of people in the film industry taking advantage of male newcomers, then why not start talking about people who actually make the movies? Producers, directors, financiers, actors, actresses.

Seriously one wonders if Sonu Nigam would have done the same had it been a popular director or a honcho from a powerful production house. But then again, this is Bollywood we are talking about - here friends become enemies in no time and enemies best friends even quicker; don't you remember the Anu Malik and Alisha Chenia episode.

By Sakshi Juneja

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