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Bollywood’s Shame: Rekha In ‘Last Tango In Paris’ Like Moment

An account of Rekha being forcibly kissed by Biswajeet in one of her early films goes viral.

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Entertainment
2 min read
Bollywood’s Shame: Rekha In ‘Last Tango In Paris’ Like Moment

While the whole world is outraging over Bernardo Bertolucci’s admission that he conspired with Marlon Brando to shoot the rape scene with Maria Schneider in Last Tango In Paris, we have something similar closer home to be ashamed of.

Much before Bertolucci shot his film, one of Bollywood’s top heroines, Rekha, was forcibly kissed on film without any prior discussion or consent for a film. An excerpt from the recently released book Rekha: The Untold Story by Yasser Usman was tweeted out which describes the shocking incident.

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The excerpt narrates how during the shooting of Anjana Safar, the director of the film along with actor Biswajeet conspired to forcibly kiss Rekha without her knowledge. Biswajeet apparently kissed a shocked Rekha for about 5 minutes while the camera kept rolling and the unit members cheered and whistled.

Rekha, who was just a newcomer during the shoot of this film, was reportedly a 15-year-old when this took place.

According to a blog, the film Anjana Safar, which was shot in 1969, was finally released as Do Shikaari in 1979. But the kissing scene between Biswajeet and Rekha had already become famous because a 1969 Asian edition of Life Magazine, published it for a story on 'India's Kissing Crisis' to talk about the discussion around the release of Khosla Committee Report that claimed "kissing or nudity can't be banned unless a court of law judges it obscene."

The image was put out by several magazines over the years and its context kept changing. Here’s an image from a 1975 issue of Film Mirror, which the site claims reproduces the picture in a sensationalised piece.

(Photo courtesy: AtTheEdge)

With a reclusive Rekha probably not willing to talk about the disgusting experience now, Bollywood’s silence over such incidents of exploitation is deafening.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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