Does the blind admiration of supposed heroes contribute to the systematic problem ousted through #MeToo? Does the society become complicit in the trauma of survivors by condoning an abuse of power? Read on to know.
The second wave of the #MeToo movement in India, brought forth by the actress, Tanushree Dutta has gained momentum in encouraging survivors to oust powerful and famous predators. Comedy collectives, Model United Nations circuits, media houses, Bollywood, advertising agencies, and numerous other domains of the ‘sophisticated’ working class India have been put to contest of their unsafe, insensitive, and hypocritical attitudes towards sexual violations and misconduct. The inconspicuous nature
of the entitlement in the behaviours of renowned personalities has been brought to the spotlight in a way unlike ever before, as pointed out by Nikhil Taneja, the co-founder of Yuvaa, “I think
the biggest and most important thing #MeToo has done is to shift the shame from the survivor to the perpetrator. Earlier our news would say how one
more girl was assaulted. For the first time, it’s about how one more man has done something shameful. The onus is on men now.”
However, the perspective of the entire
situation becomes precarious when one finds the name of a person they believed to be ‘ideal’ or ‘perfect’ in the list of sexual predators. It creates a primordial sense of disbelief when the hypocrisy of one’s hero is thrown into the open, and their admirers often attempt to justify the events to themselves. There is nothing wrong with having a humane reaction of disbelief for people who built a façade of idealism and trust, and capitalised on it to acquire benefits for their social capital or business brand. But after the initial processing of the account
of the survivor(s), the responsibility to objectively acknowledge their trauma without siding blindly with the supposed hero also rests with the society. When Tanmay Bhatt, the co-founder and CEO of the comedy collective All India Bakchod (AIB), was removed from his administrative post from the organisation, the comments on the organisation’s statement regarding the same were full of hate-speech for the victims, and criticised the approach of AIB in holding Bhatt accountable for his silence despite the knowledge of Utsav Chakraborty’s actions.
Standing by your heroes when they
violate and traumatise another individual is a systematic way for the perpetrators to abuse their power, and acquire more of it. In fact, the reason
why the #MeToo movement has become significant for those who want to maintain anonymity because they fear stigma, the mental harassment, or the ruin of their professional careers, is due to the fact that their violators are at powerful pedestals and people either choose not to believe their accounts or they refuse to acknowledge it. It is this blind admiration, backed by, indifference which has caused the survivors to endure for several decades. The example of Alok Nath is fitting here.
If supposed heroes are not held accountable for their actions, then the
world will become prone to malice and destruction through illusions. In fact,
the presence of assualters from with
the community of artists, activists, and other peoplewho are involved in relatively philanthropic endeavours
informs the society of the danger that is hero-worship. It also breaks the stereotype which suggests that perpetrators are monsters who listen
to sexist Bollywood songs and reveled
a possibility of a hippie slam poet being
a sexual harasser.
Hero-worship contributes to a culture
of misogyny, abuse of power, and trauma and it’s about time we we start holding the artist accountable for actions, no matter how breathtaking their art is.
Feature Image Credits: DNA India