TV Show Writer Vinta Nanda Accuses Alok Nath of Rape, Repeated Violation
Indian film and television’s very own ‘sanskari babuji’ Alok Nath has been accused of rape and repeated sexual violation.
With the global #MeToo movement finally taking off in India, several heroes across industries are being demolished.
After AIB’s co-founder Gursimran Khamba, the latest alleged abuser to be called out is Indian film and television’s very own ‘sanskari babuji’ Alok Nath, who has been accused of rape and repeated sexual violations.
Veteran TV writer, producer and director Vinta Nanda, in a detailed Facebook post on Monday, has alleged that Nath raped her more than once 19 years ago after he was sacked from their iconic show Tara for misbehaving with its lead actress.
Talking about the relationship they shared, she writes, “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 of us from theatre, slowly making our arts shine in the content renaissance, which had taken place because of the satellite television revolution of the 1990’s.”
Calling Nath an entitled drunk, she says, “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. My lead female actor was being harassed by him. He would mess with her on the sets and everyone would be silent. When she complained to us, we decided to let him go.”
Narrating how her four shows, which were all doing well on TV at the time, were unceremoniously pulled off air after Nath’s sacking, Nanda narrates, “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. All our shows went off air with immediate effect and my production company was made to shut down.”
Nanda says the night she was raped, she had gone to a party at Nath’s house, which was also attended by several of their common friends. “I was invited to a party to this man’s house, his wife, my best friend 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. As the evening flowed, my drinks were mixed and I began to feel strange. Then at around 2am I left his house. Nobody followed me or offered to drop me home, which was what was rather unusual. All I knew at the time was that I had to get home. I could sense it wouldn’t be right for me to stay there any longer.
“I started to walk home on the empty streets although the distance to my own house was long. Midway I was accosted by this man who was driving his own car and he asked me to sit in it and said he would drop me home. I trusted him and sat in his 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. I couldn’t get up for my bed.”
Nanda alleges that when she told her friends about her ordeal, she was asked to shut up and forget about it, and that Nath continued to follow and sexually harass her across shows for years until he broke her confidence completely.
Several celebrities have taken to Twitter to support Nanda and shame Nath. Comedian Mallika Dua tweeted screenshots of Nanda’s post and wrote, “#Babuji My ass. This is so terrifying. How must she have dealt with this alone in the bloody 90’s. Thank god for social media.”
Author Nandita Iyer wrote, “He should be behind bars! Sanskaari my foot. #aloknath.”
Student activist Shehla Rashid tweeted, “Oh my God! This is very serious and needs to be reported to the police. Shame on you @aloknath.”
Meanwhile , in an interview to a television channel Alok Nath has responded to the allegations. He 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.”
He further said, “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.”
Alok Nath also 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.”
With more victims coming out, the #MeTooIndia movement seems to grow stronger each day.