Famed TV personality Alok Nath accused of harassment, rape


India Oct 09 (TNS): Ever since the #MeToo campaign has gained momentum in India, a number of Bollywood luminaries including renowned actors, filmmakers, best-selling author and a comedian have found themselves embroiled in controversies that involve allegations of sexually harassing women.

In a shocking turn of events on the movement, revered TV and film personality Alok Nath, who has played the roles of father, grandfather on-screen in almost all the shows, has been accused by a woman of rape.

As reported by Hindustan Times, filmmaker Vinta Nanda on Monday alleged that Alok Nath had raped her in her home, sexually harassed a lead actress of 1990s TV show ‘Tara’ and got her sacked when she complained.

Nanda also added that as a consequence, she had to cancel all her TV shows and shut down her production company.

Recounting the painful experience in a long Facebook post, Nanda went into details of the incident when she was raped by Alok Nath at her own house.

Without naming the actor, Nanda symbolically identified the harasser as “the most #Sanskaari (Cultured) person in the film and television industry.”

After holding back the actor’s name initially, Nanda confirmed that it was Alok Nath via SMS and said: “It is Alok Nath. I thought saying ‘sanskaari’ would do the needful.”

Nanda, in her post, wrote that Alok Nath was after the lead actress when she was producing and directing the show Tara. After the actress had declined all advances made unto her, Alok seized the opportunity to molest her in a scene.

When they had him removed from the show, he first had the actress changed, the show’s story line altered and came back into it before having it axed.

“We were called by the newly appointed CEO of the channel on the Monday of the following week and told to shut down the show, along with all our other shows. I was insulted and humiliated by the CEO, asked to get out of his office and told that women like me should be thrown out of the country,” Nanda wrote.

Nanda also said that Alok had her drink spiked at a party at his house and then offered to drop her home.

“I can remember more liquor being poured into my mouth and I remember being violated endlessly. When I woke up the next afternoon, I was in pain. I hadn’t just been raped, I was taken to my own house and had been brutalised.”

“The only reason I’m telling this story now is because I don’t want that any girl should ever fear holding the truth back.”

“What followed because of my silence was even worse. I became easy prey because the message had been put out that I was afraid and so I would not open my mouth. The couple of times that I wrote about what I had gone through created more complications because I stopped getting work. To deal with all the fear and shame I drank myself silly almost every evening and even flirted with drugs,” she added.

She even appreciated her friends for standing by her side while she recovered from the incident: “I have waited for this moment to come for 19 years. I shout out to each one of you who have suffered at the hands of predators to come out and say it aloud. Don’t hold yourselves back.”

The post since uploaded has been shared by a huge number of people, including comedian Mallika Dua, who wrote: