Veteran actor Alok Nath, who was popularly known as ‘Babuji’ for the many roles as a family elder he essayed in TV serials and films until several women accused him of sexual harassment and even rape, has been expelled “until further notice” by the Cine and TV Artistes Association (CINTAA).
Alok Nath was first exposed by writer-producer Vinta Nanda, who had written the popular 1990s Zee TV serial Tara in which the actor had played a leading role.
CINTAA revealed the action it had taken against Alok Nath on its official Twitter handle: “In view of the various allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against Mr Alok Nath, after due diligence and consideration, the executive committee of CINTAA has decided to expel him from the association.”
Actor Amit Behl, senior joint secretary of CINTAA, cautioned Alok Nath that he could be expelled for life if he continued to ignore the show-cause notice issued to him and does not explain his stand at the annual general body meeting (AGM) scheduled to take place in May next year.
“We have a clause in our constitution where we can take suo moto cognizance of such issues,” Behl told Cinestaan.com. “He was supposed to come in for the executive committee meeting where our ICC [internal complaints committee] was also present, but he did not. So he has been expelled until further notice.”
Vinta Nanda had also filed a first information report (FIR) against Alok Nath with the Mumbai police. Citing the police investigation and an application moved by his wife Ashu Singh in the sessions court seeking an injunction against Nanda, Alok Nath had requested CINTAA not to take any action against him until the courts had ruled in his case. Ashu Singh’s case has since been dismissed by the court.
“Let the law take its own course, let the police do their investigation,” Amit Behl responded. “If he is unable to give a genuine justification on the first of May at the AGM, he will be expelled for life.”
Behl clarified that expulsion from CINTAA does not stop Alok Nath from getting work with the film and television industry, but the association would not be responsible for him or for anybody who works with him.
Alok Nath on his part seemed unperturbed by the development. Entertainment website Pinkvilla quoted him as saying, “Toh accha hua [so, good]. I haven’t heard from them, I can’t speak about it. I don’t know yet.”
Writer Vinta Nanda had earlier posted in a #MeToo message on social media how she had been raped by a popular TV star in the 1990s. She later revealed that the star was Alok Nath. The actor had responded in bizarre manner, saying the rape may have happened but he didn’t do it.
With CINTAA having expelled Nath until further notice, it remains to be seen how the Producers’ Guild, the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association and other film and television unions react to the move.