In the light of the MeToo movement and women standing up against their sexual offenders in the past weeks, Tennis star Mahesh Bhupati, who is married to actress Lara Dutta, has urged people to stop engaging with those who have been called out by people.
In a Twitter post, Bhupati expressed how disturbing it has been to see all the stories coming out and how his immediate reaction was "It's about time". He said he has a simple appeal, "Stop engaging. Alienate these "serial predators."”
The Tennis star said, it is time to show those accused that "while the law and investigative agencies will take their course, society should – and will – reject them."
He also pointed out that as women are coming out with their accounts of sexual assault and harassment, "influencers" have kept mum.
“Two days ago my wife, who’s shooting out of town, got an offer from a leading international digital platform through Mukesh Chabbra’s company (sic),” he wrote. Chhabra, a casting director, has been accused of harassment and has been fired by Fox Star Hindi.
Dutta forwarded the offer to Bhupati for feedback, he said. "I asked her if she really wanted to empower his company even after what's been in the news." Dutta's reaction was "that the digital platform hadn't really pulled back business from him either". However, the actress refused to be associated with the digital platform.
Bhupati said that she did the right thing, however adding, "I'm not sure it's enough, though," he said.
Citing the example of Suhel Seth, who has been called out by multiple women for harassment, he said not one "felt the need to say anything" and the reason people give him for this is, "Everyone has skeletons in their closet." Bhupati said he does not buy that explanation.
But why has he spoken up on the issue now? Bhupati said he was told how everyone is waiting for the wave to wash away and then "it will be business as usual." This, he said, did not go down with him, a father of a six-year-old daughter.
"That's when I decided that I may not have any influence but I do need to say something." He said people need to understand what those accused of harassment and sexual abuse have been doing. "They have systematically been "preying" on women – and in some cases men – who are chasing their dreams.. of job, a role, a promotion, a break (sic)," he wrote.
"I have known and engaged with Suhel Seth, Vikas Behl, Anirban Blah, Chetan Bhagat, Sajid Khan and Anu Malik. That ends today on all accounts."
In the end of his post he emphasised that the stands needs to be clear, "guilty unless proven innocent."
. Read more on Women by The Quint.‘Stop Engaging’: Bhupathi Urges to Alienate ‘Serial Predators’ QuickE: ‘Badhaai Ho’ Box Office; Atul Kasbekar Named in #MeToo . Read more on Women by The Quint.