Sonam K Ahuja on survivors of sexual harassment

Actress Sonam K Ahuja wrote that the #MeToo movement has been “as eye opening and exihilirating as it has been devastating.” Writing a long editorial post for Thriveglobal.in, Kapoor stated that the movement “must continue to galvanise us into action and into a redemption of rights long awaited for the disempowered.”

Marking down the do’s and don’ts of supporting the movement which has brought out several incriminating evidences against prominent names in the film industry, outlining the nature of the problem, and how she thinks people should approach it, K Ahuja believes that the support for survivors and women coming out with their stories is non-negotiable. 

She wrote, “While people must be treated as innocent until proven guilty, we need to remember that women are taking on incredible personal risk and trauma to tell their stories. We owe them, at the least, our trust and support.” 

While there have been several industries incriminated by the #MeToo movement, the film industry is where it began. Mentioning Tanushree Dutta’s act of calling out Nana Patekar, Samee Siddiqui, and Rakesh Sarang among others, Kapoor said, “after the courage Tanushree Dutta has exhibited, let there not be any open secrets in any industry anymore. I pledge to never endorse or work with individuals proven to be predatory and guilty.” 

Emphasising on her own privilege, the actress stated that people in the industry should ‘Ditch the entitlement. Understand Consent’. She further stated, “Consent can never be silent. Any person must seek permission before touching another person. If it’s a no, then it’s an unequivocal no. If it’s a maybe, then it’s still a no. Only if it’s a resounding, enthusiastic yes, is it a yes.”  

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Speaking on the issue of perpetrators being removed from projects, she added, “It’s our duty as a society to stand up for and with survivors who have spoken out. This means not only believing them, but also working to seek justice for them in any way they choose. This can mean boycotting the work of men who have been proven guilty, mounting pressure to investigate all claims through due process, ensuring private reparations to women who ask for it, or punishing men who have demonstrable patterns of sexually exploiting others.” 

While discussing the issue, the Neerja (2016) actress added that she herself was guilty of being part of “projects which I know are a part of the problem. I own up to them now. I admit that I have been part of the problem. Often we do things unknowingly, but when we know better, we should own up to it. That’s how we grow from it.” 

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