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Let's not discriminate: Farhan Akhtar on Hrithik Roshan-Kangana fiasco

 Mumbai, Oct 8 (IBNS): Filmmaker Farhan Akhtar has reacted to the ongoing Hrithik Roshan-Kangana Ranaut fiasco and urged people and the media not to  jump to conclusions or "discriminate" on the basis of gender.

 

Farhan, however, did not mention any names in his Facebook post.

 

Farhan said:"I am not the authority on who is right or wrong in their situation, that’s for the cybercrime officials to figure out, but I do feel certain aspects of the way the events have unfolded need comment."

 

He said: "Like anyone who has an iota of objectivity and sense of fairness, I too agree that in our society, more often than not, it is the woman who suffers injustice and repression. It is horrifying but true that in some cases of rape, a section of society has blamed the victim. I have always found this to be unacceptable."

 

Farhan has expressed his unhappiness over the manner in which the entire matter has been dealt by certain section of the media.

 

"Although it is true that in most cases it is a woman that has been wronged, there is a difference between ‘most’ and ‘all’. However few and rare they may be, there have been cases where men have been stalked, harassed and falsely accused. This reality has been accepted by the highest courts of our land.It is in this spirit of objectivity and fairness that today I must speak up.The way this episode has played out with sections of our media is worrisome," the 'Wazir' actor posted.

 

Giving his strong message over the incident, Farhan asked people and the media not to discriminate.

 

"The reason I felt the need to say this is that it is apparent that some people have already jumped to conclusions while some are deriving some sort of voyeuristic pleasure by encouraging the woman to carry on speaking.

 

This is being done without a seconds pause to consider the effect her words will have on the person, his family or his children. As great as all of it may be for TRP, it’s in terrible taste," he said.

 

 

"Until such a time that the matter is brought to its logical conclusion by the authorities, we must avoid vilifying the man on the basis of unsubstantiated statements. That is what we would have done if this story had played the other way around. That’s what we must do given how it is now. Let’s not discriminate," he said.

 

After days of enduring media speculation, Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan recently took to social media to clear the air, stating that he has been dragged into a dirty perverse mess.

 

Posting a three page letter on the micro blogging site Twitter, the actor vented ire against the media, while taking a sly jab at Kangana, without naming her.

 

Hitting out at the media, he said, "Just like a nagging health issue sometimes ignored can turn malignant, this situation for me has unfortunately turned malignant.

 

In case of the matter at hand, it seems the media has no intention of letting go."

 

He added that contrary to media reports, he never met Kangana in private.

 

"The truth is, I have never met the lady in question one on one in my entire life. Yes, we have worked together, but there has been no meeting in private. Thats the truth," he said.

 

"Women have suffered centuries of abuse at the hands of men and it infuriates me how some men can be so brutal and they deserve the harshest punishment. But by that logic if it ordains that one man can't be vulnerable and one woman can't be a liar, so be it. I'm ok with that too," the Bollywood superstar said.

 

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut last month broke her silence over her alleged relationship with industry mate Hrithik Roshan saying the conflict with the latter didn't die down rather had a proper end to it as the actor failed to prove any of his claims made against her.

 

 Kangana said: "He (Hrithik) claimed many things and said there is an imposter but failed to prove anything and the report of cyber crime [ of emails sent to the actor from the id of Kangana] is nil. Also he and his father [Rakesh Roshan] claimed to expose (me) but they didn't say anything."

 

Upholding the report of the cyber crime cell, the Rangoon actress said nothing was found against her. The actress who had shared screen space with Hrithik in Krrish 3, even went on to say that she was afraid at the whole incident.

 

"Of course I was afraid of it. Who wouldn't be? .....I didn't know I was a part of such a big scam. This person (Hrithik) has done prep. (preparation) for two years to put me behind bars for having an affair with him," alleged Kangana demanding an apology from Hrithik and his father Rakesh Roshan over the whole incident. 

 

Full statement of Farhan Akhtar is given below:

 

"Today I read an open letter written by a man I know about a woman I know, professionally, at best. Although a controversy about them is going around since a while now, to my best knowledge this is the first time this man has expressed his point of view.

 

I am not the authority on who is right or wrong in their situation, that’s for the cybercrime officials to figure out, but I do feel certain aspects of the way the events have unfolded need comment.

 

Like anyone who has an iota of objectivity and sense of fairness, I too agree that in our society, more often than not, it is the woman who suffers injustice and repression. It is horrifying but true that in some cases of rape, a section of society has blamed the victim.

I have always found this to be unacceptable.

 

4 years ago, I founded MARD (Men Against Rape & Discrimination) and through the initiative, I have been vocal in my fight against gender related violence and in highlighting cases of discrimination against women and the LGBTI community.

Although it is true that in most cases it is a woman that has been wronged, there is a difference between ‘most’ and ‘all’.

However few and rare they may be, there have been cases where men have been stalked, harassed and falsely accused. This reality has been accepted by the highest courts of our land.

 

It is in this spirit of objectivity and fairness that today I must speak up.

 

The way this episode has played out with sections of our media is worrisome.

Some of our most reputed journalists have, consciously or unconsciously, pushed one side of the narrative WITHOUT having or presenting any evidence to back the claims being made by the woman. They’ve accepted her story at face value.

Isn’t this discriminating against the other party?

 

For a moment, lets put aside emotion, prejudice, biases, our understandably protective instincts and

look at the facts as they exist today.

 

She claims they had an affair lasting 7 years and during that period, they exchanged a number of emails.

While he denies ever mailing her, he has filed an official complaint, shared and submitted all necessary information and documents, handed over his personal phone and laptop to the concerned authorities.

The woman has not. Apparently, she has avoided, till date, submitting her personal communication devices citing some reason or the other.

In some past cases, this lack of cooperation has been deemed to be obstruction of justice.

Handing over her phone and computer is not only the right thing to do morally and legally but is also the best possible way for her to prove she’s telling the truth. So why refuse or delay?

 

Apparently, he has over a thousand emails from her official email account which are intimate and sexual in their content. She claims not to have written them but alleges that he hacked her account and mailed himself.

If they were in a 7 year long mutually agreeable relationship, why would he need to do that? Does it not defy logic?

Also, did he reply to any of her emails?

As far as we know, No. Not one single time.

 

Pause here and ask yourself..

If a woman was to receive these sort of emails from a man and she claimed harassment, what would your immediate reaction be?

Would you have given the man the benefit of doubt by believing him if he said they were in a relationship and she had hacked into his computer and sent herself the mails..?

 

Chances are you wouldn’t.

 

There’s more.

 

She posted a picture of them together claiming it was taken during the years of their alleged affair. That picture was proved, beyond doubt, to have been manipulated.

The actual image consisted of a group of friends including the man’s wife (now ex-wife) standing together in a party.

Why were the others intentionally cropped out?

 

She has no messages and no photographs to prove that she was in a 7 year long relationship with this man. Not even a picture of their alleged engagement in Paris, an event which he denies.

Furthermore, he has asserted that his passport does not bear any stamp of travel to France during the time she alleges the engagement occurred nor are there any credible witnesses to this event.

 

Don’t all these inconsistencies raise questions in your mind about the authenticity of the accusations?

 

So what is the truth?

Well, the truth is that WE do not know the truth.

 

The reason I felt the need to say this is that it is apparent that some people have already jumped to conclusions while some are deriving some sort of voyeuristic pleasure by encouraging the woman to carry on speaking.

This is being done without a seconds pause to consider the effect her words will have on the person, his family or his children. As great as all of it may be for TRP, it’s in terrible taste.

 

Until such a time that the matter is brought to its logical conclusion by the authorities, we must avoid vilifying the man on the basis of unsubstantiated statements.

 

That is what we would have done if this story had played the other way around. That’s what we must do given how it is now.

 

Let’s not discriminate."

 
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