Singer Neha Bhasin Accuses Anu Malik of Predatory Behaviour
Sona Mohapatra pens an open letter against Anu Malik
Trigger Warning: The following article contains details about sexual assault and violence. The details may be traumatic for survivors. Reader discretion is advised.
On 30 October, Indian singer Neha Bhasin took to Twitter to talk about her personal experience with singer and music producer Anu Mallik. Calling him a “predator”, Neha Bhasin’s accusations against the Indian Idol judge were in response to a tweet by singer and TV show judge Sona Mohapatra, in which the latter talks about how her actions resulted in her losing her place as a judge on an Indian reality show. Whereas Anu Mallik, who Mohapatra had accused of alleged sexual misconduct, did not face repercussions. The tweets by Mohapatra are excerpts picked up from an open letter she posted on Facebook on Thursday.
Neha Bhasin posted a series of tweets on Thursday morning. Referring to Anu Malik as a “pervert”, Neha wrote about when she, as a 21-year-old, went to visit Anu Malik so she could give him a CD of her songs. However, he allegedly behaved inappropriately with her. Neha further added that to get away from him, she had to lie.
She wrote, “I agee with you. We do live in a very sexist world. Anu Malik is a predetor, I too have run away from his strange moves when i was 21. I didn't let myself get into a sticky situation beyond him lying on a sofa in front of me talking about my eyes in a studio.”
“I fleed lying my mums waiting below. He even msgd and called me after that to which i stopped responding. The point is i went to give him my cd and hope for a chance at a song. He was older and shouldnt have behaved the way he did. @The_AnuMalik is an ugly pervert and does not”
Neha also tagged Anu Malik in the tweets.
Neha also wrote, “Even though i have a brave DNA Sona :) as you have known me the industry or the world was not an easy place as a young girl alone away from family due to many such Incidents or getting a hunch of such perverts. Perverts exist inside n outside our industry but why are we so”
Questioning the society’s mentality, Neha tweeted, “Why are we so forgiving to the men, do we realise that is what gives them the strength to ruin our dignity, hide us women in our houses. I hid many times so as to not get myself in a sticky situation. Why is it ok? For a man who is predator to walk free while we hide in shame n fear?”
Elaborating on the misogynistic attitudes of the industry, Neha said that she has had many older men make “cheap advances” towards her over the course of many years..
She tweeted, “Last thing I wanna say is 19 to age 30 many older men tried to make their cheap advances oh ne rest assured i complained to the people i thought would bring justice. The Tv world says a woman’s role is of Ma, bhabhi aur behen (mother, sister-in-law and sister) oh yes i was told that too. So what is A man's role?”
Following Neha Bhasin’s accusations, The Quint reached out to Anu Malik for a reaction. However, he was unavailable for comment. The story will be updated with his response as and when it is communicated to us.
Following Neha’s tweets, Sona Mohapatra posted a tweet addressed to Sony Pictures (Indian Idol is produced by Sony Entertainment), urging the organisation to pay heed to the allegations against Anu Malik that surfaced during the Indian MeToo movement in 2018.
She tweeted, “Dear India,media @SonyPictures, @nehabhasin4u was all of 21, @ShwetaPandit7 was 15 when he tried kissing her,his family doctors daughter was 14 when he unzipped, countless other women shared their @IndiaMeToo stories about Anu Malik,including Danice D’Souza, #IndianIdol Producer”
“I have known the spunky,driven & talented @nehabhasin4u since her Viva days & know she would’ve dealt with the trauma bravely w/o succumbing.I also know 2 many who were victimised! Youngsters & parents on a reality show are desperate to win & Anu Malik has been judge for 11yrs”
In the open letter addressed to “India, media and Sony Pictures International”, Mohapatra mentions the cases of several women who came out against Anu Malik during the Indian MeToo movement. She further goes on to explain her plight; how she was forced to give up her place as a judge on the Indian reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa even as Anu Malik was reinstated as the judge of Indian Idol.
“It takes only a Nirbhaya level tragedy for India to wake up? Few days after my call out last year, I was asked to leave my judge seat on SRGMP. My co-judge told me, the publicity I provided to Anu Malik took up the trps of our ‘rival’ show. (?!). Blamed me. I was marked as a troublemaker & asked to leave. Overnight,” wrote Mohapatra.
She writes, “Would Sony dare do this in the USA on American Idol? No. Because there, they know the public & industry outcry would harm them. Other celebrities & successful achiever’s would refuse to participate in their show. Here?”
She further cites examples to prove that despite multiple allegations, Anu Malik’s support system within the industry remains unaffected.
On top of all of this, a rich, powerful conglomerate like Sony TV is trying to divert their shameful reinstating of a multiple accused sexual offender, Anu Malik as a judge on Indian Idol by publicising a sporting hero & India’s icon, Sachin Tendulkar’s praise on Twitter for some contestants, (a marketing exercise) & riding on his hard earned goodwill. Diabolical? Yes.Sona Mohapatra, Singer
You can read the open letter here:
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.