Neither Denying It, Nor Confirming It: 'Sanskari' Alok Nath On Rape Allegation By Producer Vinta Nanda
In the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and rape against powerful men from the film and media industry, veteran TV writer-producer Vinta Nanda in a Facebook post shared how she was raped by the ultra-sanskari Alok Nath, 19 years ago.
Today, the man himself reacted to the allegations and said “Neither I am denying this nor do I would agree with it. It (rape) must have happened, but someone else would have done it. Well, I do not want to talk much about it as for the matter if it has come out, it will be stretched.”
Further trying to shove the blame off from himself, he said “At one time she used to be such a good friend… today she said such a big thing. In a way, it was me who made her what she is. It is useless to react on the allegations as in today’s world whatever a woman says, only that will be considered. In such a situation, it would be wrong to say anything.”
Indecent behaviour in front of people
Vinta Nanda, in her Facebook post, said that during the 90s, she was producing the show ‘Tara’ where Alok Nath was the lead actor opposite Navneet Nishan. In an interview, Alok apparently casually said that Navneet was a druggie and that did not go well down with her.
His wife was my best friend. We were in and out of each other’s homes, we belonged to the same group of friends, most…
Navneet lost her cool and sued Alok for Rs 1 crore. Vinta writes in her post “He was an alcoholic, shameless and obnoxious but he was also the television star of that decade, so not only was he forgiven for all his bad behaviour but many of the guys would egg him on to be his worst.”
They were planning on writing him off the show and Alok got wind of it. One day apparently, he deliberately came drunk to the set and “He continued to drink till the time he was called for the shot. When the moment came and the camera rolled, he felt up our female lead and very viciously. My lead actress slapped him. We asked him to leave the sets and told him that he was not going to be on the show any longer,” she writes.
A lot of things happened after that which ultimately led to her production house being shut. Alok Nath’s wife was good friends with Vinta and one day she was called to their house for a party. His wife was her best friend but she was out of town. “It was usual for our group of friends from theatre to meet regularly so there was nothing unusual about my going to the party,” she said.
She then says that her drinks were mixed and she was quite drunk and was walking back home when Alok offered to drop her home. She trusted him and got in the car. “I have faint memory after that. 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,” she painfully recollects.
She further said that when she told some of her friends about the incident, she was asked to forget about it.
“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,” she said this while saying that it has been 20 years and now she feels liberated to talk about this.
The Logical Indian take
All these men who hold such a position in the industry and think they can get away with anything should understand that women are not dolls that they can play with and just throw away after they have had their fun. These men should own up to what they did and investigations should start so that they get the deserved punishment.
It is an earnest request to Bollywood, understand consent. The movies and films throughout years have portrayed non-consensual advances, harassment and stalking as love, and women and men through generations have internalised it. We hope this movement helps in the conviction and shaming of all the sexual predators and also create a safer environment for women in the future.