Renuka Chowdhury’s sensational claim: ‘Casting couch’ exists everywhere, Parliament not immune to it

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New Delhi | Published: April 24, 2018 3:44:11 PM

Congress leader and former Member of Parliament Renuka Chowdhury on Tuesday made a sensational claim on the alleged culture of 'casting couch' says the culture exists in the Parliament as well.

Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury claims ?casting couch? exists in the Parliament as well. (Image: ANI)

Congress leader and former Member of Parliament Renuka Chowdhury on Tuesday made a sensational claim on the alleged culture of ‘casting couch’ that has often brought the Indian film industry under attack. Speaking to news agency ANI, Chowdhury said that the ‘casting couch’ exists in the Parliament as well. Responding to a question on the remark by Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan on the subject, Chowdhary told news agency ANI, “”It’s the bitter truth, the whole film industry can get up in arms against me,” she added. She then went on to say that the casting couch is not limited to the film industry and that it exists everywhere. “This happens everywhere with women, even at the workplace. So, don’t assume that the Parliament is immune to it. It is not, this happens with women everywhere.”

“If you look at the western world today, established top actresses have taken this long to come out and say ‘me too’. Its time India stood up and said ‘It’s me too’,” she said.

It is not just in the film industry. It happens everywhere and it is the bitter truth. Don’t imagine that Parliament is immune or other workplaces are immune to it. It is time that India stood up and said ‘Me Too’.”

Earlier in the day, while addressing the media in Mumbai, the Bollywood choreographer described sexual favours for work as a “century-old” tradition. The veteran choreographer added that the film industry “at least” provided jobs and did not abandon women after raping them. Khan also alleged that government officials were also involved in the incident.

“This has been happening since time immemorial. Anyone and everyone tries to get cozy with every girl. Even people in the government do it. Why are you after the film industry? At least the industry provides employment. It is not as if you are raped and abandoned. (Yeh chala aa raha hai baba aadam ke zamaane se. Har ladki ke upar koi na koi haath saaf karne ki koshish karta hai. Government ke log bhi karte hain. Tum film industry ke peeche kyun pade ho? Woh kam se kam roti toh deti hai. Rape karke chhod toh nahi deti),” Khan is heard as saying in the video.

Khan further added that the safety of women depends on the individual herself. “It’s upon the girl – what does she want to do? If you don’t want to be caught, you won’t. When you are an artiste, why will you sell yourself? Don’t say anything about the film industry. It’s like our mother-father. (Yeh ladki ke upar hai ki tum kya karna chahti ho. Tum uske haath mein nahi aana chahti ho toh nahi aaogi. Tumhare paas art hai toh tum kyun bechoge apne aap ko? Film industry ko kuch mat kehna, woh humaara mai-baap hai),” she said in the video.

Going back on her statement after the backlash, she told news agency PTI, “I have already said I am sorry. But you don’t know the question that was asked… And now there’s so much ruckus.”

The 69-year-old was responding to a remark of Telugu actress Sri Reddy who protested against the culture of ‘casting couch’ in the Telugu film industry. The comments drew wide criticism from all around the corner.

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