Queen director Vikas Bahl, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a former emplyee of Phantom Films and Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, has sent legal notices to filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane. In two separate notice to the directors, Vikas claims that this entire sexual harassment case against him has been orchestrated by the two 'as a result of professional jealousy and with the sole intent to defame him, malign his image and destroy his career’.
Phantom Films was founded in 2011 and dissolved in 2018
Vikas has called Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane as the opportunists who are trying to cash in on the MeToo movement raging across the country. He has demanded for an ‘unconditional apology and to withdraw messages from social media’ from Anurag and Vikramaditya in his legal notice sent on Tuesday.
The accused was named and shamed a long time back. For people who don’t read the details & only the headlines, I have no response. A lot of women work with me and have been around , I am answerable to them & they stand witness to our actions &our struggle to do the right thing.— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) 10 October 2018
Let the purging continue .. it’s as good a time as any for all of us to introspect , look into ourselves and see how we all have been complicit in so much,with our silence, forced by fear of consequence or by choice.— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) 10 October 2018
“This makes us wonder whether the alleged incident of sexual assault also has any authenticity, given that the alleged victim was, in fact, working as your own employee,” Bahl’s lawyer said in the notice. Bahl’s lawyers have accused Kashyap of bribing another employee at Phantom Films to level similar allegations against Bahl.
In more than a year I have questioned myself a lot, reflected on every single date I went to, every interaction of mine with the opposite sex, every encounter all that I could recall.— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) 10 October 2018
The legal notice sent by Vikas mentions that Anurag and Vikram have defamed him. “You are neither a witness nor the alleged victim, but instead an opportunist seeking to derive benefit based on unsubstantiated information. The alleged incident has not been established in any court of law and that you have exploited the media to propagate your own personal vendetta,” it read.
And my greatest and simplest learning is that the line of consent is not just defined by “No” , most times it’s before that “No” is uttered. And the line of consent depends on the person that owns the consent. It varies from person to person.— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) 10 October 2018
"There have been ongoing discussions between all four directors at Phantom to part ways amicably owing to creative and professional differences. You have thereafter, falsely and conveniently portrayed to the media that the reason for parting ways is supposedly,” it added.
It’s our conditioning, even for the most woke people. Most of us are still learning , everyone who claims to know what it means , and I talk about us men , we really don’t know . None of us know . It can’t and should not be defined so simply.— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) 10 October 2018
“If you had reason to believe that there was some credibility in the story of the alleged incident, nothing ever prevented you from filing a complaint/take any action against our client however, you have merely procrastinated the issue and raised it only to meet your ulterior objective and used it to your commercial convenience which unequivocally raises questions on your own credibility and intentions. Sadly, your actions leave room for doubt on whether you ever intended to help the alleged victim. Moreover, not only did you not take any action but you also continued working with our client. If there were such differences between you and our client why did you allow him to start with his project Super 30 under the banner of Phantom Films. It appears that you had no problems in reaping the benefits from the success of this upcoming movie of our client however, had severe misgivings towards our client’s goodwill in the industry,” the notice said.
It begins with respecting the individuality and acknowledging the ownership the other has over herself, and continuing awareness of it. My mind has been restless over many day/nights &more I read everyone’s accounts , it keeps adding to it.— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) 10 October 2018
I feel like just apologising for being a man. I use to feel I have come a long way from growing up in a smalltown &today I feel like somehow I am still there. There is so much I really don’t see & also see others around me pretending to see & I feel ,”inko bhi kahan dikhta hai”— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) 10 October 2018
On the other hand, on Wednesday, Anurag Kashyap decided to step away from his duties as the board member of MAMI in the light of recent events. “I vehemently deny to have stayed silent on the issue & not doing anything about it for years. Can’t explain further to people who don’t understand due process, legalities. Have been resilient through all accusations , keep flinging them my way,” he wrote in a tweet.
I was lucky to have had women who slapped me from time to time to turn that boy who at 18 told the girl in his class “ladkiyon ko yeh nahin karna chahiye “ to whoever I have become today.But I also wonder ,why & when did they stopped slapping me and thought it’s enough. It isn’t.— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) 10 October 2018
After Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of Horn OK Please, the #MeToo movement in India is gaining momentum. Since then, many more cases have been brought to light inclduing filmmaker Vikas Behl, comedian Aditi Mittal and Gursimran Khamba.